May 2023

Sermon for the 7 Sunday of Easter (Year A) Volmoed 2023

Readings for the day

Here we are at the tail end of Eastertide and on the verge of Pentecost. A very important event took place this past Thursday… Jesus ascended to heaven. A very important event happens next Sunday, the Holy Spirit comes to us. So here we are in the space between two momentous events; the interregnum if you will between Jesus and the Holy Spirit. This is the odd period when, it seems, nobody is in charge… We should be considering what kind of trouble we can get into in this unsupervised time. 

Of course, the truth is we hardly need to be left unsupervised to get into trouble. Some wag has a variation on the Lord’s prayer which says: “Lead us not into temptation, we can find our own way…” 

Sermon for the Sixth Sunday of Easter

Scripture Readings

Our Gospel passage this morning continues the conversation Jesus has been having with his disciples as he tries to prepare them for life without his physical presence after his departure to return to his heavenly Father, an event we will commemorate on Ascension Day, this coming Thursday. Last week, we heard Jesus talking about the need to believe that he is the revelation of God the Father to his disciples, so that they have come to know the Father as they have come to know Jesus. Perhaps even more startling is that Jesus tells his disciples that those who do believe in him will do even greater works than he has done, while waiting for Jesus to return to take them to be with him in the place he will prepare for them in his Father’s house.

This week, we hear Jesus assure his disciples that he is not abandoning them. The loving relationship of believing and knowing that Jesus has established with his disciples will continue through the agency of one he refers to as another Paraclete, in the form of the Spirit of Truth. The word Paraclete seems to have its origins in a legal context as an Advocate, one who comes alongside to speak on another’s behalf, but it has acquired broader associations as Helper, Guide, Comforter, Teacher, Counsellor. Jesus has been all of these to his disciples, but now the Spirit will continue in those roles, the initiation of which we will commemorate on Pentecost Sunday, in two weeks.

April 2023 News

A VYLTP Taizé Youth Day was held at Volmoed on the Saturday before Palm Sunday. Brs Edwin & Josias participated throughout the day in various ways, while Br Scott led a workshop on an aspect of prayer in the afternoon. All the Brothers attended the evening prayer around the cross together with the young people.

Palm Sunday was of course the beginning of Holy Week. In Br Daniel’s absence, we appreciated Rev Wilma’s availability to preside at the Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday observances. Serghay & Yohane of the Volmoed staff helped Brs Edwin & Josias create the altar of repose in the smaller chapel for use after the Maundy Thursday service in the evening.

It was good to have John de Gruchy with us to preside at the Easter Vigil which began in the darkness on Easter Sunday morning. John then celebrated at the joyful Eucharist which followed while the sun rose after the Vigil.