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Welcome to Church Society online. We are a fellowship contending to reform and renew the Church of England in biblical faith. On this website, you will find details of our conferences, publications and other resources, as well as our regularly updated blog and weekly podcast.

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Posted by Foley Beach, 3 Apr 2020

Archbishop Foley Beach considers the next of Jesus's sayings from the cross, in our Lent series, The Blessed Life.

How can we have the mindset of Jesus towards the members of our family?

When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

Our text finds us with Jesus on the cross. He has been arrested, found guilty of blasphemy, crucified, and is now dying. Jesus looks at his mother, Mary, and says, ‘Woman, behold your son.’ At first glance, the reader might think Jesus is referring to himself. After all, he is in a pitiful state — nails in his hands and feet, bloodied from his beatings and scourging, and the end is coming soon. However, Jesus is not referring to himself, rather to his faithful follower, John (the writer of this Gospel). He is indicating to his mother that she is now to regard John as her son and look to him for the obligations of a son. 

Thinking of others

After speaking to his mother, Jesus looks to John (‘the disciple whom Jesus loved’ is how John referred to himself) and says: ‘Behold, your mother.’ Jesus is transferring his earthly responsibility for his mother’s well-being to his faithful disciple. Even as he is dying, Jesus is making sure that his human mother is taken care of. As the first-born son, he was responsible to make sure his mother (since his adopted father had died) is provided for and cared for in her old age. The One who came from above and who said he was returning to his Father is making sure is earthly mother is in good hands.

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Posted by Phil Chadder, 2 Apr 2020

We continue to look at Jesus words from the cross in today's post from our Lent series, The Blessed Life.

Who on earth could belong in paradise?

One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: ‘Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!’ But the other criminal rebuked him. ‘Don’t you fear God,’ he said, ‘since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.’ Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ Jesus answered him, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.’ Luke 23:39-43.

He was now so sick that the Governor had approved the removal of his handcuffs. No longer were two Prison Officers required. One was enough, and he could wait outside the hospice room, allowing him to die with dignity. As the cancer had got its grip the prisoner had moved from his cell in HMP Brixton, to a hospital ward and now to a room in a hospice. It was the middle of the night and I sat on the edge of his bed as we looked out on the falling snow. The streetlamps lit the flakes as they fell and settled on the branches of nearby trees. ‘I’m scared’, he said. He’d long turned his back on the Christian faith of his upbringing. ‘Did you know that God could look on your life and see you as pure as that snow?’ I asked. He wanted to know how that could be possible. I explained. Later, I asked if he would like to pray the Lord’s Prayer with me. He said he would. Never have I heard, ‘Forgive us our trespasses’, cried out with such urgency.

The criminal on the neighbouring cross recognised how that could be possible on the first Good Friday. Despite his personal agony, he was aware that the man in the middle was the focus of the crowd’s attention. The local bigwigs had shown up to scoff. The military had their fun. Nailing him hadn’t been enough. Even the other criminal joined in the mockery. He had just enough time left to hurl some abuse and grab a final headline.

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Posted by Ros Clarke, 1 Apr 2020

The Spring 2020 edition of Crossway is now on its way to Church Society members and other subscribers

It’s been a joy to put together this of Crossway with its international focus, seeing stories come in of what God is doing amongst his people all over the world. Although the work of Church Society is particularly focussed on the Church of England, we are glad to be in partnership with brothers and sisters across the world, especially those who are also part of the Anglican Communion. I hope this edition of Crossway will encourage and inspire you to keep praying for the worldwide church. Perhaps you might consider how you could do more to support one of the projects mentioned in the magazine - whether by committing to pray regularly, support financially, or offer other practical help.

Crossway cover

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