DATES OF SERVICES AT ASHLEY AND IN DUNEDIN:
It has been decided that for the future services in Dunedin will be once a month.In order to make the dates easier to remember, we have settled on the First Sunday of every month, except January. This will begin on Sunday, February 3, 1991; and will continue till further notice.
For services at Ashley, the result will be that the 11a.m. Sunday Liturgy will be held every Sunday throughout the year except the first in each month. We hope this will be easy to remember, and avoid the occasional disappointments when people have come out expecting a service when there was none; and perhaps also avoid so much staying away from services when they are on...
Our son Jeremy is to be married in Motueka on our Lazarus Saturday (Latin Holy Saturday, March 30). This will unfortunately mean that there cannot be a service at Ashley on March 31, Palm Sunday. However, the rest of Holy Week will be observed in the Church at Ashley, including certainly the services at 6.30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, April 4 and 5, and the Liturgy on Holy Saturday morning, April 6 (also a Resurrection Liturgy). The midnight Matins and Liturgy will be held in Dunedin beginning at 11.30 p.m.
(We have heard that there may be catastrophic changes to the NZR bus services. These may cause a revision of the above plans).
HOMILY ON THE EPIPHANY
Let us look first at the reading from the Epistle to Titus. Here we find a remarkable text that sums up what we are about today (2,13):
Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ.
What a strong assertion of the Godhead of Christ we have here! And we also have here the word EPIPHANY, translated as "appearing": It is a great pity that Fr. Nassar follows the version of the King James translators who, misled by their own doctrinal timidity or perhaps by the absence of the article in the Latin version, give the absurd version: the great God AND OUR Savior Jesus Christ. Fortunately the RSV follows the only possible reading of the Greek: ten EPIPHANEIAN tou megalou Theou kai Soteros emon Iesou Christou. Hardly anywhere else in the New Testament do we have such a bold statement of his Divinity; and today we celebrate the appearing of that Divinity. In the west, since very early times, the event emphasized in this feast is the appearing to the wise men - that being the Gospel and the theme of the hymns etc in the Latin services; in the Greek world, today's Gospel celebrates His baptism by John; but both celebrate His Divine Epiphany, or, to telescope the words as the East has now done for centuries, His Theophany or God - appearing.
Let us look now at the Gospel, where S. John Baptist points out to Jesus that things are upside-down and back to front: John is asked to baptize Jesus, whereas Jesus ought to be baptizing John. And He did, of course - but he did not need to baptize John in water, since he was baptized in his own blood at the hands of Herod as a martyr (witness) of Truth. John's baptism did not wash from sins and give the new birth, and John and all after him have needed the baptism of Christ to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
Jesus persuades John with the words: Let it be so, to fulfil
all righteousness. Thise is an Hebraic phrase, meaning something
to observe the righteous law totally. But for the purpose of our feast
they can also mean: to let righteousness expand and fill all things..
This is what our Lord did by being baptized on the Jordan. It is not
between John and Jesus that the roles are reversed; they are reversed
Jesus and the Jordan too. Rivers usually wash people; but on this case
it is Jesus who washes the Jordan by being baptized in it. Water
but today Jesus washes the water. And this water, washed by
flows on, down into the sea (the Dead Sea) and up into the clouds from
which it washes down all the mountains and rivers and plains and seas
oceans of the whole planet stained by sin. As we walk down the Ashley
do the great blessing of water today, we renew this washing by our
grace, not only of the human race, but of the whole world which is our
home. We asked that His grace and peace flow down the Ashley into the
and all oceans and wash the world clean from the lust for power
which so threatens our world and which is the great obstacle to
the knowledge of God and participation in His Kingdom.
Let us pray that his grace may fall on all those lands around the Jordan, esspecially, over which a sword has been hanging for so many years (at least since the second world war). I read the other day in THE WORD a collection of interesting facts, includung the suprising statement that of the one million Palestinians still left within the borders of the "State of Israel", 80%, or 800,000, are Christians. This is the exact opposite of most of the middle east where, on average, 20% are Christians and 80% are Muslims. So we have an additional reason to pray that it may not be a sword that falls on those lands, but a gentle rain of Christ's grace. And let us pray too that the water that we bless and which flows onto the sea may wash our coasts, our mountains, plains and rivers here in New Zealand and make our whole country, and us all in it full of the faith and love and gentleness and peace of Jesus Christ. Amen.
What accounts for this irrationality? Former ambassador to Russia, George Kennan maintains that "the image of Russia poised and yearning to attack the West... was largely a creation of weatern imagination." Why did the notion of this "Soviet menace" arise?
After the Second World War had ended, Europe
exausted. The United States alone had survived wartime devastation. And
indeed they had survived very well. Ambassador Kennan made this very
in 1948: "We are six per cent of the world's populaton and we consume
per cent of the world's resources. For this to continue we will have to
throw our lot in with dictators all around the world."
Since the United States had at its founding stones the most impressive democratic principles, they could not accept the judgement of some of their own best critics that even they had imperial tendencies. To justify their behaviour, the "Soviet scare" in the past was vigorously promoted. It was Senator Arthur Vandenberg, the leader of the Senate who phrased it best in 1947. "It is necessary to scare the hell out of the American people." This is one of the reasons why the Soviets became the scape-goats.
The Soviets as we have seen had their own deep recovery problems and while it is certainly true that the persecutions under Joseph Stalin in the late 1930's were barbarous to the extreme, the Soviets had their plate full of their own domestic woes.
And so the drum beat continued: the Soviets were the new Nazis. Though this was quite inaccurate, it served to justify the permanent war economy. And behind all of this was the grand trump card: the Bomb.
Any dictator, no matter how cruel to his own people, or scornful of democratic principles, as long as he said he was "anti-communist," often qualified fo American support.
A parade of totalitarian dictators, as bad as any in the Soviet Union rose and fell: Batista in Cuba, Trujillo in the Dominican Republic, Somoza in Nicaragua, the Shah in Iran. All staunch "anti-communists."
For the next thirty-five years repeated war scares perpetuated the war system. Organised labour was kept silent by defence contracts; the best scientific minds were squandered in preparing greater and greater weapons.
John Foster Dulles, the author of "mass retaliation" and certainly no dove, in 1949 admitted that "I do not know any responsible official, military of civilian in this government, or any government who believes that the Soviet government plans conquest by open military aggression." General Douglas MacArthur in 1957 claimed: "Our government has kept us in a perpetual state of fear - kept us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervour - with the cry of a grave national emergency... Yet in retrospect, these disasters seem never to have happened, seem never to be quite real."
Twenty years after MacArthur, Democratic Senator George McGovern made the same point: "We have had an unrelenting barrage of scare stories for more than a year. There has hardly been a respite from the stream of reports about Soviet monster missiles, dramatically boosted estimates of Soviet defence spending, Soviet efforts to overtake us on nuclear technology, the mammoth Soviet navy and assorted 'clear and present dangers' to our national safety."
Serbian Orthodox Chapel,
70 Webb Street,
Tel (04) 842 884
A first Divine Liturgy was celebrated in the new
which Mitchell and Colleen Elder have built in the grounds of their
These two photos give some idea of the layout and the very tasteful
The chapel is aleady used for daily devotions, and we hope to have a Liturgy there from time to time. Twenty people were present at the Liturgy, which was followed by a barbeque in the grounds and house.
[Once again, the colour original appears to be lost and I hope someone may find and return it. Meanwhile I have inserted one taken at the same time of approximately the same scene.]