Mercy Street

1/5/2012       St John’s College communion Service

Preacher: Peter Philips

Worship Leader: Julie Lunn

Text: Micah 6:6-8, Luke 1:46-55, James 2

Theme of sermon: Equality, Mercy, Action

Pete used the James reading to speak of how the Church has so frequently been hypocritical in the way it treats the rich in preference over the poor, he reminded us that we all have our blind spots and justify our failure to love our neighbour as Christ commanded us, with all kinds of very reasonable reasons which, if we thought about it for a moment, betray the Crucified Christ and all his teachings. I was taken particularly by a poem Pete read by Studdert-Kennedy (see below) and it was the image of Christ crouching against a wall in the pouring rain that inspired the picture.

“When Jesus came to Golgotha they hanged Him on a tree,
They drave great nails through hands and feet, and made a Calvary;
They crowned Him with a crown of thorns, red were His wounds and deep,
For those were crude and cruel days, and human flesh was cheap.

When Jesus came to Birmingham they simply passed Him by,
They never hurt a hair of Him, they only let Him die;
For men had grown more tender, and they would not give Him pain,
They only just passed down the street, and left Him in the rain.
Still Jesus cried, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do,”
And still it rained the wintry rain that drenched Him through and through;
The crowds went home and left the streets without a soul to see,
And Jesus crouched against a wall and cried for Calvary.

– G.A. Studdert Kennedy (1883-1929)

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