Note: This is the third and final part of a sermon preached by three Brothers: Jack Crowley, n/SSJE; Sean Glenn, SSJE; and Keith Nelson, SSJE.
I want to circle back to that obscure but evocative passage in John’s first Epistle:
The Spirit is the one that testifies, for the Spirit is the truth. There are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood, and these three agree.
The testimony is one, as the Spirit is one, but it seems the encountering of it is (at least) three-fold: in the baptism we share; in the costly self-offering we must each make; and in the speaking of the Spirit of Truth on the tongue of each believer in living witness.
Three preachers do not regularly step up to this ambo on a single occasion, but the fact that today we are three merely underscores something essential about this life: the mutuality of our common witness and the complementarity of our testimony to the Truth. We are a community of preachers because we need each other’s help to lay hold of and live in the Truth. As the nucleus of a wider fellowship we are “sustained by many energies of mutual service”: the Truth proclaimed from many mouths, moving in many hearts, and lived in many lives.
A Sermon preached for SSJE Fellowship Day, 3 May 2014.
Jane Shaw, Dean of Grace Cathedral, San Francisco.
Texts: Isaiah 44:1-8; Psalm 92:1-2, 11-14; 1 John 5:1-13 John 20: 1 – 9.
In the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Thank you Brother Geoffrey, and all Brothers of this Society, for the kind invitation to preach here on this special occasion. I am honored to do so.
In 1950, the English novelist Dame Rose Macaulay, then living in London, received an airmail letter from one John Hamilton Cowper Johnson of
980 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, Massachusetts, better known as Father Johnson of SSJE. Father Johnson had known Rose Macaulay slightly when he had been at St Edward’s House in Westminster some 30 years earlier. He was writing now because he had enjoyed her most recent novel. (It’s nice to think that monks, too, write fan letters!) Macaulay replied, and so began a correspondence that lasted for eight years, until her death. (1)
Preached by the Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas
Sermon for the Feast Day of St. John, The Beloved Disciple
Isaiah 44:1-8 1 John 5:1-13
Psalm 92:1-2, 11-14 John 20:1-9
Friends, I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to be back in this chapel and to share this service with you. One of my great losses in moving away from Cambridge four years ago was the loss of easy contact with this place, and with you Brothers, and with this community of faith. I rejoice to be with you today and to have a chance to reflect on this morning’s Gospel.
Feast of Saint John the Evangelist
1 John 5: 1-13
You will likely know that during the last two years we have been invited to minister in two dioceses in eastern Africa: in Kenya and Tanzania. We are ministering in Africa as we do in the Middle East, in the British Isles, in Canada and the States: a ministry of spiritual formation. Whether at home or away, we seek to offer silence and sanctuary, guidance in prayer and spirituality, and a vision for wholeness.