Anglican bishop N. T. Wright is a respected ecumenical voice among Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox Christians. When Wright preached to the members of a mining community in northern England who had suffered grievous losses, he reflected on Jesus' death and resurrection, encouraging the people to unite their pain with the journey of Christ to the cross. The wisdom of his biblical reflections, gathered here, apply to anyone who is suffering and offers a passage to hope through Christ and his victory over death.
N. T. Wright is the former Bishop of Durham in the Church of England (2003-2010) and one of the world's leading Bible scholars. He is now serving as the chair of New Testament and Early Christianity at the School of Divinity at the University of St. Andrews. He has been featured on ABC News, Dateline NBC, The Colbert Report, and Fresh Air, and he has taught New Testament studies at Cambridge, McGill, and Oxford universities. Wright is the award-winning author of Surprised by Hope, Simply Christian, The Last Word, The Challenge of Jesus, The Meaning of Jesus (coauthored with Marcus Borg), as well as the much heralded series Christian Origins and the Question of God.
N. T. Wright weaves beautiful sermons in this brief collection. In meditating upon Holy Week, Wright allows the reading to experience the sorrow of the community at Easington Colliery. In experiencing the community's sorrow, the reader also recalls areas of sorrow and struggle in their own life. In the midst of this sorrow, Wright consistenly points to the hope of the cross and resurrection and how those necessary events interact with our lives today. As the series concludes, Wright reminds Christians that our calling is not only to invite people to join us in heaven by accepting the grace of Christ, but to realize that we are created for the new heaven and the new earth. We are to bring to light the fact that the resurrection brings about the new creation even as we travel the often disappointing and disillusioning roads of life. Let us celebrate the resurrection and how it impacts us each day, not just in in the future.
This little book of sermons was fruitful for me, which is all the more striking because I found this by chance, needing some reading material in a pinch on Good Friday. It's a window into NT Wright's pastoral side: his messages to a neglected community during Holy Week. I'm familiar with the main points of his speaking, but seeing them adapted to a specific group of parishoners brings them alive in a new way. Also, most of these sermons pair a passage from the gospel of John with a passage from Isaiah, and they sent me back to read the Servant Songs of Isaiah more fully. In this context, they came alive for me in a new way as well. The Servant is a teacher, and we see his thoughts and doubts transparently, as well as his conviction that God is near and God will save. That spoke to me most of all, and isn't the point of Holy Week to hear God's word in a new way?
A book of reflections to be read during Holy Week and based off of sermons that Tom Wright wrote to a community that has gone through hardships. In his typical prose, Wright gives a clear perspective on the purpose of the cross, albeit with a special leaning towards the context of human suffering. A thoughtful read.
Back in 2007 N.T. Wright visited Easington Colliery a town that has suffered through tragedy and hardship over the years. These eight sermons are what he preached during the Holy Week as he sought to bridge their sadness and fears with the horrors of the Easter story.
Sidenote - his sermons are short.
At first I starting reading to get some ideas for a sermon I was working on. But then I kept on reading as daily reflection in preparation for Easter. Nothing astronomical or radically new, but I appreciated how he didn't side step the tough stuff.
Also his 'music illustration' was pretty awesome. I'll probably use it in the future.
But there's one more part in this song, and it's very personal. Call it the alto part if you like - somethimes a bit shy, sometimes doesn't seem very exciting, but the harmony isn't complete without it, and sometimes it has spectuacular things to do. This is your part, your own personal story, your private bit of the song.
As we listen for the main tune, Jesus on his journey to Jerusalem and Calvary; as we listen to the bass part, the Old Testament which grounds the whole thing; as we reflect on the tenor part, the story of our whole community; so we have to bring our own story and learn to sing it with this total music.
The world all around us is giving us other music and telling us we have to keep in harmony with that. We are making this journey with Jesus this week because we want to leran again how to keep in with his song, with his story. ~ N.T. Wright Christians at the Cross (page 10)
Great for ...
Anyone looking for suppliment reading during Lent Pastors in need of a fresh perspective in teaching material Anyone who is suffering and needs to see their suffering through the pains of Easter
This is a collection of N.T. Wright's sermons, which he delivered over the course of Holy Week at a church in former mining mecca that is slowly turning into a ghost town. These sermons focus on grace through the backdrop of the community's sorrow, decay, and struggle. I actually enjoyed how the power of place intertwined so closely with not only Wright's sermons, but also the lives of the people in attendance. Certainly, his message resonates with readers, too, who are trying to deepen their experience with Christ's crucifixion and resurrection during lead up to and aftermath of the Easter season.
Wright preached a short sermon each day of Holy Week in Easington Colliery, England, in 2007. I enjoyed his theme throughout: that when we hear the main melody of the story of Jesus, we should also hear the bass line of the Old Testament that grounds the whole thing, and we also hear the tenor and alto lines of the stories of our society and personal lives, respectively. In each of the sermons, focuses on God's redemptive purposes in Christ for the world and specifically for Easington Colliery, an old coal town whose mine was closed in the 1990s.
I really enjoyed this small book of sermons for each day of Holy Week. Wright preached them at a town in England that had been devastated by the coal mines closing. The sermons focus on bringing our own stories of suffering and grief within the story of Jesus' suffering, and thus finding healing. It is a wonderful and helpful book for Lent and Holy Week.
This book was originally a series of Holy Week talks given to a small community whose economic and cultural infrastructure had been decimated. N.T. Wright relates their problems to scripture and gives a much-needed word of hope in Christ. I would recommend this book to anyone suffering through our current economic crisis, especially in hard-hit areas, such as my own Detroit.
A slim volume of sermons that focus on Holy Week. The author compares Jesus' trials with the losses in an English mining town. Certainly an effective way of teaching the relevance of scripture in ours lives.
Reading this book again for the second time, the first time was Holy Week 2008. That year, my husband was waging a battle with a malignant brain tumor, and died five months after Easter. Nine years later I am reading from a different perspective, and it is, perhaps even more meaningful this go round. Wright, the Bishop of Durham, has written a beautiful and moving book from sermons he gave at The Church of the Ascension, Easington Colliery, during Holy Week of 2007. This is a mining town that was going through a tough reinvention, like so many places and people today, all around our rapidly changing world. Using music and the different parts of the score as illustration for the many facets of grief, loss, redemption, and hope, Wright takes the reader through thoughtful meditations for the Christian who wants meaningful literature for the journey.
"If God is at work, he will do what he will do, and his purposes are always full of surprises. But I am convinced that when we bring our grief and sorrows within the story of God's own grief and sorrow, and allow them to be held there, God is able to bring healing to us and new possibilities to our lives. That is, of course, what Good Friday and Easter are all about." From the introduction
This book is a little jewel and I'm so glad I pulled it back off the shelf for this Holy Week. May the Peace of Christ be with you.