A picture, it has been said, is worth a thousand words. What pictures scroll across our minds every day? What do they communicate? The late Marshall McLuhan, in the 1960’s, talked about the end of the dominance of written texts. The, then ascendant, medium of television, he predicted, would overtake print media; the “Gutenberg Galaxy”, as a means of communication. Fifty years on, the evidence suggests he was a fair prophet.
What does this mean for Christian churches that deal mainly in texts, rather than images? The question is germane, particularly in this week when the gospel depicts Jesus in the enduring image of the Good Shepherd. Does that image communicate in the, largely, urban world of the present time? What of the image of the populace, “harassed and helpless like sheep without a shepherd?” (Matthew 9:36)
Join us for worship on Sunday if you can. In addition to the image of the Good Shepherd, we will focus on those of bread and wine. What does the image of the Holy Communion table communicate to you?
As always, the social “hour” following worship gives us all an opportunity to share in the joys of good fellowship. And Russ MacLeod will ring the bell for the Adult Class and engage us in thinking about how and where faith and everyday life intersect.
Palm Sunday is now on the near side of the horizon and the day gives a different meaning to the term, “double entendre.” On one hand, Palm Sunday celebrates what is often referred to as our Lord’s ‘Triumphant Entry” into Jerusalem. Palm branches, suggesting a triumphant hero, feature in the scene. The refrain, “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord,” echoes across the eons. On the other hand, Palm Sunday is the prelude to what we call “The Passion” of our Lord. Following the Triumphal Entry, in startlingly abrupt order, Jesus was taken into custody, arraigned, first, before Pilate, then Herod. Thereafter, he was given over to the Roman authorities for execution. Then, the refrain was, “Away with him; “Crucify him!” What a reversal! Is it possible some of those who shouted, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord,” were, a few days later, to call, “Crucify him”? It is stunning to think how closely triumph was connected with tragedy. How do we discriminate between tragedy and triumph in life?
Rev Jim Sinclair
Pastor Jim is the minister for First United Baptist Church