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I wish you could hear the haunting music that rises from the flame of Tsitsernakaberd.

This memorial is not a place of silence because history left Armenia with too much silence. The Armenians force you to hear their funeral dirges; they force the deep emotion of their lament upon you because they fear that otherwise, in silence, you too may forget them.

Some schoolboys descend into the ring of stone and metal. Running from the courtyard above they stop to approach with funeral reverence. Each holds a flower to lay before the flame. …


The imperative to be at home during this Holy Week has been a source of reflection and inspiration. I recognise that not everyone is in such a position, and I am thankful for my health and both a family and a work life that is conducive to slowing down and taking time to be present during this season.

Exploring the incarnation has been an important theme for me this year. What does it mean to understand the Christian journey as something that is physical and present with us? …


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On the last Monday in March, at 16h52, we would get on the bus. The stop is just down the hill on the main street next to the village church before the large arching bridge. It is about a three-minute walk from our house to the stop, but we will want to be early. I would hope to lock the front door by 16h40. I wouldn’t forget the rubbish. We always bin the rubbish while waiting for the bus.

The bus would take us to Istanbul. Not directly, of course, but I had filled the pages of my leather-bound journal…


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There has been some debate around the mass closing of churches during the time of the virus — and for good reason. To halt our work of public worship is a dramatic and almost unprecedented step. Most Christians, liturgical or not, rightly view corporate worship as the centring heartbeat of our faith.

But what lessons do we have to learn in these unusual times? What are we really being asked to give up in this unusual season of Lent? On one hand, we can protest these closures. …


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Epiphany, an oft-forgotten season of the western church.

But we as humans, we need this season. Epiphany draws us into the divine narrative. In Christmas, we learn how God became man, but it is through Epiphany that we see how the mystery of Christ is made known to us in a deep, personal and cosmic way.

Throughout this season the Church reads through the early chapters of the Gospels to more deeply explore the ways that God is breaking into our world through Christ’s incarnation. …


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The ancient Armenian monastery of Khor Virap.

Often today’s religious culture belief has become synonymous with intellectual assent. You either believe something to be a series of facts, or you disbelieve it as such. Or perhaps, belief is described as something that stands in opposition to intellect. You believe despite your intellect.

But I don’t think that this is the belief Christ is trying to give us.

Around Easter, our church lessons tend to focus on what actually happened to Jesus in all this business of resurrection — where did Jesus go? We want to know. …


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It’s never easy to speak about divisive Jesus.

Passages in the Gospels in which Jesus talks about starting fires and bringing upset between families aren’t comfortable in today’s world, because often, if your experience is anything like mine, we sense that divisive Jesus is used by the “other side” to justify an unpopular stance on the day’s political or social issues.

We like to use divisiveness as a marker of our own justification.

We may use “shepherd Jesus” when helping a friend in need, but we pull out divisive Jesus when it comes to our politics. Are you being mocked…


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To you who doubt, this is your day. To you who feel alone, this is your day. To you who question, who don’t believe, who don’t know what to believe, this great feast, this is your day.

The great feast of All Saints’ is a remembrance fashioned to echo back through the ages of Christian history to proclaim that we are not alone.

Your faith, your baptism, do not belong to you alone. This journey is not a singular and personal experience for you alone to figure out or get right.

As a Christian, you do not blaze a new…

Seth Barker

Realizing life — every, every minute.

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