29 Mar 2018

Chrism Eucharist in Brussels

Photo courtesy of John Moore.

Ordained clergy, Readers, CEMES students and their mentors gathered at Holy Trinity Brussels on Tuesday for the Holy Week Chrism Eucharist, when ministers traditionally renew their vows. How wonderful it was to have ministers of many years and young people exploring their vocation brought together for such an occasion. Bishop Robert led and preached at the service, and his sermon follows.

Bishop Robert's Sermon

“Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.” (2 Cor.4:1)

St. Paul experienced and describes for us a ministry context which seems impossibly difficult. In today’s passage he describes himself as hard-pressed on every side, perplexed, persecuted, struck down, always carrying in his body the death of Jesus. Paul preached a gospel that was foolishness to the Greeks and a stumbling block for Jews. As a result, he faced opposition and hardship almost everywhere he went. No wonder that he was acutely aware that the treasure of the gospel was carried in mere clay pots or earthen vessels.

This struck me as a good way to introduce a sermon for our Chrism Eucharist when we gather together to reflect on our ministries, to encourage one another and to recommit ourselves to our work. Because I have become increasingly convinced that we face, though in a very different way from Paul, a deeply challenging context. Today provides an important opportunity to reflect on some of the big cultural forces that are shaping our contexts, to try to understand them better and to think about what we the church have to offer in response...

Read the rest of Bishop Robert sermon here.