19 April 2015
Rev’d Jonathan Gale
Acts 3: 12 – 19
12When Peter saw it, he addressed the people, ‘You Israelites,* why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk? 13The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our ancestors has glorified his servant* Jesus, whom you handed over and rejected in the presence of Pilate, though he had decided to release him. 14But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer given to you, 15and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. 16And by faith in his name, his name itself has made this man strong, whom you see and know; and the faith that is through Jesus* has given him this perfect health in the presence of all of you.
17 ‘And now, friends,* I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18In this way God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah* would suffer. 19Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out
1 John 3: 1 – 7
1See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he* is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. 3And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.
4 Everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 5You know that he was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. 6No one who abides in him sins; no one who sins has either seen him or known him. 7Little children, let no one deceive you. Everyone who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.
Luke 24: 36b – 48
Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’* 37They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. 38He said to them, ‘Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.’ 40And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.* 41While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, ‘Have you anything here to eat?’ 42They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43and he took it and ate in their presence.
44 Then he said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.’ 45Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46and he said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Messiah* is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48You are witnesses* of these things.[hr:20px]
God will always be counterintuitive. He will always surprise us because he is the ultimate “Other”.
When Jesus walks in on his disciples they are frightened. They were still behaving as though the supernatural was not natural, and he has to reassure them that he is not a ghost; he is himself, only resurrected.
It’s counterintuitive for people to rise from the dead, even when they tell you they are going to.
Good Anglicans spend their lives saying the morning office and begin every Thursday morning by saying, “When Christ who is our life appears, then we also will appear with him in glory.” Let me guarantee that when Christ returns and these good people find themselves resplendent in their own resurrection bodies, they will be surprised.
We’re like that as human beings: slow to take spiritual things on board.
Now one of the most counterintuitive principles is that out of suffering comes good.
45Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46and he said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Messiah* is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
Jesus himself was terrified of his death. He sweated great drops of blood as he pleaded with the Father to choose another solution. But he understood the principle and co-operated with the Father’s will.
Out of his sacrificial death came the justification of humankind: forgiveness of sin and reconciliation with God. There can be nothing better to come out of anything!
Sacrifice, especially self-sacrifice, always bears an abundance of fruit that simply cannot be appreciated at the time of sacrifice – especially by those who are bystanders – those not doing the sacrificing.
In John 15 Jesus speaks those memorable words, ‘This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. And you are my friends if you do what I command you.
On this the 100th Anniversary of the Gallipoli landings we remember the sacrifices of those who laid down their lives so that we might be spared the consequences of subjugation: so that a free world might be our lot.
We are so used to the freedoms maintained for us and the world at large in the great sacrifices made by our kith and kin in the wars of the twentieth century, that we seldom think of them as we go about our lives.
It does us great good to remember them with thankfulness every now and again.
SAINT PETER’S PARISH CHURCH MEMORIAL PLAQUE
Prominent among the Memorial Plaques displayed in St Peter’s is the dedication to 5 young men from this district who did not return from the Gallipoli Campaign in 1915.
With the 100th Anniversary of the landings being commemorated next weekend, it is appropriate we take a few moments to learn something about, and honour, the Sacrifice of Geoffrey McPherson Brown; Frederick Hugh Dodson; Richard Andrew Frater; Leonard Richard Grimwade, and Harry Cuthbert Northcroft.
We do not know who commissioned the Plaque, or when it was installed, and indeed, we know both Frater and Dodson are also remembered at St Georges Presbyterian Church. Brown, Frater, Dodson and Northcroft are very much part of our local infrastructure with Streets named after them.
Geoffrey Brown was born in 1894, educated at Auckland Grammar School, and taught at Belmont School. We do not have his enlistment date, but it is assumed about August 1914. He joined the Auckland Infantry Battalion as a Private.
Frederick Dodson was born in 1892, and was an Auctioneer with NZ Loan and Mercantile in Tauranga. He enlisted in August 1914, and held the rank of 2nd Lieutenant with the Auckland Infantry Battalion.
Richard Frater was also born in 1892, and educated at Auckland Grammar. He worked in his father’s Sharebroking business, at the same time holding a Commission in the Territorial Forces before enlisting in August 1914 in to the Auckland Infantry Battalion as a 2nd Lieutenant.
Leonard Grimwade – we do not have his date of birth, but he was educated at Kings College, and enlisted with the Auckland Infantry Battalion where he held the rank of Corporal..
Harry Northcroft – was born 1889 – another educated at Auckland Grammar, and was working as a Solicitor at time of enlistment in August 1914, but this time in to the Auckland Mounted Rifles with the Rank of Lance Corporal.
All 5 embarked for Egypt from Auckland on the 16th October 1914.
None of them were married, and therefore have no direct descendants.
Frederick Dodson and Leonard Grimwade were killed in action on the day of the landings, 25th April 1915. Dodson was 23.
Richard Frater was wounded, and died of wounds at sea on the 30th April 1915 also aged 23.
Geoffrey Brown was killed in action on the 8th May 1915, aged 21.
Harry Northcroft was killed in action 19th May 1915, age 26.
WE WILL REMEMBER THEM