From the Rector

April 2018

Tom and Una Woof

It is with thanksgiving to God that we remember our brother Tom. What a gift to this congregation he was.

He served in many capacities, but will chiefly be remembered for his having looked after our church hall for over 40 years. Even though we were all aware of his increasing frailty in the last year or so, Tom’s death was still somewhat unexpected.

Lord, thank you for Tom. May he rest in your light and peace. Amen.

As this month’s magazine went to press, we heard of the sudden death of Una Woof. Like Tom, she was an important part of our congregation and will be much missed. I shall say more about her next month.

Easter

Because Easter will have taken place before this issue of the Holy Cross magazine will have reached many, I wrote about the Resurrection of Jesus in last month’s issue. However I think that a few more words are appropriate. I believe I can say that I am somewhat of a disciple of Bishop Tom Wright (or Professor Wright as he is now known), the renowned New Testament scholar.

I have read his tour de force, The Resurrection of the Son of God, all 800 pages of it, and was deeply impressed by its depth and breadth of scholarship and personal faith. The message is simple. The Resurrection actually did happen as the Gospels report it. And Jesus’ death and Resurrection ended the old creation and began the new.

I won’t attempt to rehearse the arguments here (read the book – for all of its size and depth it is accessible to the enquiring reader), but he reaffirms the absolute reality of the physical reality of Jesus’ bodily being, raised from the dead, and the consequences for everything from individuals to the whole of the universe in relationship to him.

Prof Wright has just finished giving the Aberdeen University Gifford Lectures of 2018. They are available to watch on YouTube, courtesy of the University. One strand of his lectures (there are eight in all) is to challenge head-on the past 150 years of sceptical biblical criticism that has challenged the veracity of the whole Bible. Once again his lectures are vastly erudite, deeply thought through and brilliantly presented. The point of mentioning these lectures is that he keeps on giving the ordinary Christian a solid, credible intellectual force for believing that what we read in the Bible is authentic and true.

During the past 2,000 years Christians have believed in the Resurrection of Jesus, not because someone told them to do so, but because their own faith under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit testified to the truth that they held. So, as we say during Eastertide, ‘The Lord is risen, He is risen indeed!’

Try Praying

The Try Praying initiative has been around for a number of years (everyone has probably spotted the adverts on the Lothian buses). At the last Vestry meeting we agreed to join in again this year. We have bought a banner to display on our railings (I hope more successfully than last time when it was literally ripped off) and 100 booklets.

Try Praying is exactly what it says – an initiative to try to get people to pray. David Hill, who started it, gathers stories of answered prayer; there are many. I have invited him to preach at Holy Cross and we have fixed the second Sunday in June. I hope that you can be there.

East Window

There is exciting news about our east window depicting the Nativity. I received an ‘out of the blue’ email from a lady who is researching Scottish stained glass. While looking up something else she came across an article in The Scotsman newspaper dated 10th October 1930 about the dedication of our window. (I had the approximate date of dedication wrong on our website – now corrected.) She told me that our window is by Christopher Webb who was one of the major British stained glass window artists/makers from the 1920s to the 1960s.

I found an extensive article about Christopher Webb on the internet. He undertook many significant commissions in cathedrals and public buildings. His signature is a faint drawing of St Christopher in the bottom right-hand corner of his windows. In our window one can see it just to the bottom right of the roundel of St Columba and his monks landing on Iona. Our East Window is a significant stained glass window. Of course everyone has always been able to see how beautifully executed it is, so to find out that its maker is a major artist in that medium, shouldn’t really come as a surprise.

Deeper Life Bible Church

We are happy to welcome the Deeper Life Bible Church as another congregation who are using Holy Cross Church for their worship. Their church was founded and has headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria. There are two congregations in Edinburgh, one based at St Nicholas’ Church of Scotland, Sighthill, and the other now with us. The Pastor is Mr Joseph Osuigwe. Their worship times are Sundays at 1 p.m. and Wednesdays and Fridays at 6.30 p.m.

Their coming to us is absolutely Providential. We are applying for grants for funding to undertake very expensive pointing work on the gable walls of the church. Several of the trusts that give larger grants, require that the church submitting an application hosts other congregations (or groups) in its church building for at least 65 days a year. This is a requirement which we now fulfil in abundance!

Our friends, the St Mary’s Congregation of the Malankara (Malabar) Syrian Orthodox Church, who have worshipped in Holy Cross Church for several years now, used our church this Holy Week just past. They organised for a priest to come from India to observe their full (or almost full) Holy Week schedule of services. With us, Malabar and the Deeper Life Church all using our church in Holy Week, I don’t think Holy Cross Church has ever been more well-used for worship over the course of one week!

All Nations

Jesus told his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to make disciples of all nations (St Mark 13.10; St Luke 24:47; St Matthew 28:19). I am astonished how many nations we have gathered in our small church and in our congregation: there are people from India, Nigeria, Canada, USA, Australia, France, China, Malaysia, South Africa – and the UK… Have I missed anybody?

May everyone have a most blessed Easter.

The Lord is Risen! He is risen Indeed! Alleluia!

Yours in Christ Jesus,

Douglas Kornahrens

 

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