Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Archbishop Oscar Romero: Martyrdom

I've just come across this quotation from Oscar Romero, spoken a couple of weeks before he was assassinated. It speaks for itself, but what an awesome attitude!

‘I have frequently been threatened with death. I ought to say that, as a Christian, I do not believe in death without resurrection. If they kill me I will rise again in the people of El Salvador. I am not boasting, I say it with the greatest humility. I am bound, as a pastor, by a divine command to give my life for those whom I love, and that is all Salvadoreans, even those who are going to kill me. If they manage to carry out their threats, from this moment I offer my blood for the redemption and resurrection of El Salvador. Martyrdom is a grace from God which I do not believe I deserve. But if God accepts the sacrifice of my life, then may my blood be the seed of liberty, and a sign of hope that will soon become a reality. May my death, if it is accepted by God, be for the liberation of my people, and as a witness of hope in what is to come. Can you tell them, if they succeed in killing me, that I pardon and bless those who do it? But I wish that they could realise that they are wasting their time. A bishop may die, but the church of God, which is the people, will never die.’

From J Sobrino, Romero: Martyr for Liberation, Catholic Institute for International Relations 1982, p.76

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Get in the Picture!

This is a copy of my Pastor's Page for our December Church Magazine. I hope you enjoy it.

I wonder what picture springs to mind when you hear the word ‘Christmas’?

For many people, it will be the traditional nativity scene of Mary and Joseph at the stable with the baby Jesus, accompanied by shepherds and wise men. That’s not surprising, as such an image appears on many of the Christmas cards we send and receive. I wonder, though, if you have also imagined yourself as being in the picture?

Around the country, and at our ‘Love Came Down at Christmas’ shop in Peterborough city centre, people are being urged to ‘get in the picture’. You will be able to dress up as one or the biblical characters, or just appear as yourself, and get in the picture as someone takes a photo of you and others. Later that day, you’ll be able to check the website (www.getinthepicture.org.uk) and download the photo as a memento. It’s an innovative way in which people can learn more about the Christmas Story.

Yet there’s more to it than that! You see, with God we really can get in the picture. We can become a part of the never-ending story that begins with God’s love. Out of that love, God made the heavens and the earth, and all that is in them. Out of love, he has allowed freedom to his creation to learn what it is to love and be loved, and often to make mistakes. Out of love, he has made a way for imperfect human beings like you and me to be put back on course. In the infant Jesus, God has put himself into our picture of frail humanity, so that we can get in his picture of perfect love.

That’s the message of the picture we’ll be sharing again this Christmas. I do hope you will join us and ‘get in the picture’.