United Dioceses of Dublin & Glendalough

General

06.08.2019

Archbishop’s Sermon at Holy Cross Theological College in Yangon, Myanmar

Archbishop Michael Jackson is currently visiting Myanmar where he is a guest of the Church of the Province of Myanmar, part of the Anglican Communion.
Archbishop’s Sermon at Holy Cross Theological College in Yangon, Myanmar - Archbishop Michael Jackson is currently visiting Myanmar where he is a guest of the Church of the Province of Myanmar, part of the Anglican Communion.
In Yangon Holy Cross Theological College before the service.
On Sunday August 4 Archbishop Michael Jackson preached at the 8.30 Holy Communion Service in Holy Cross Theological College in Yangon, Myanmar.The College was originally an SPG (Society for the Propagation of the Gospel) foundation and trains the Anglican ordinands for service throughout Myanmar.
The Readings spoke of the encounter between Elijah and the widow of Zarephath, [1 Kings 17.8–16], Paul’s argument about freedom from sin and obedience to God [Romans 6.19–23], and the feeding of the four thousand [St Mark 8.1–8].
The Archbishop was asked during an interactive sermon about Brexit, colonialism and the contemporary witness of Christianity in Ireland as well as about impressions he had of Christian life in Myanmar.
The sermon itself focused on the ways in which God gives of God’s self to those who are outcast and unclean: the widow of Zarephath, a Phoenician coastal city in Sidon, and the people of the land gathered to listen to Jesus’s teaching but themselves effectively disenfranchised from temple worship and life.

This was an opportunity to draw parallels with the ways in which God encourages us to learn of grace and goodness from those who are marginalised as well as seeking to assist them on the principle that: my centre is your margin and my margin is your centre. Within the grace of God we have more in common through our shared humanity than we have dividing us through our distinct contexts.

The argument in The Letter to The Romans is set in the middle of an argument about life in Christ and the power of transformation given by God through Jesus Christ. The Archbishop then drew in St Luke 4.26 where, in teaching in his home synagogue in Nazareth, Jesus specifically singles out the widow of Zarephath to whom Elijah went in the middle of the three and a half year famine even though there were many widows in Israel at that time. Grace combines with justice and compassion to usher in the new kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.

The congregation in Holy Cross Theological College.
The congregation in Holy Cross Theological College.