Thursday, 31 October 2013

Ven Leslie Stanbridge in St Johns

l to r, Rev Ted Drayton, Ven Leslie Stanbridge, Ven David Garnett
The promised Apples of Gold did not disappoint . I am so glad that David and Ted organized a treat for us this morning, when Leslie Stanbridge taught us from the Gospel of Luke , looking at the Nativity narratives. MMR

Over to Ann

St Luke’s Birth story.
Today Thursday 31st October 18 members of Filey Parish were privileged to hear the Ven .Leslie Stanbridge  gave a talk on the birth stories of Jesus in Luke’s Gospel.  The Ven. Stanbridge is a retired Arch Deacon of York, and was responsible for helping to train the Ven David Garnet and also had input in the career of Rev. Ted Drayton. He now lives in a retirement village and still preaches there every Sunday. He trained under Rev George Bennett who was a pioneer in the Healing ministry.
Luke’s Gospel is different from the other three gospels as two do not relate the birth of Christ and Matthew talks mainly about the genealogy of Christ and the visit of the Magi and the slaughter of the innocents.
Luke gives us many more details. He shows the fulfilling of texts and tells his story in an Old Testament way. We learn who Jesus is, what He’s doing and what He came to do. We get more of a feeling of joy wonder worship and singing.
The study gives us 7 scenes to think about. First  in the temple. Elizabeth learns she is going to be the mother of John the Baptist. (Who will prepare the way for Jesus)
Secondly we move to Nazareth where Mary receives the message from the same angel who tells her she is going to have Jesus. We have the angel bursting into song. Mary is worried but the angel puts her mind at rest.(Luke 1. 26-38)
Third scene. Mary and Elizabeth. Elizabeth sings with joy then Mary sings her own song. (1.39-56)
Fourth scene. John is born and Zechariah sings his song of joy.(1.57-end)
Fifth scene. Jesus’ birth is of universal significance. Angels singing tell the shepherds(they were in the fields so it was more likely summer rather than winter) The shepherds signifying that Jesus came for the poor unworthy people.(2. 1-16)
Sixth scene. Jesus is presented at the temple. Here we meet two characters Simeon and Anna. Simeon gives us another song but also a warning to Mary. Anna, a really old lady full of piety who thanks God for Jesus. (2. 22-39)
Seventh scene. Jesus grows up in Nazareth. He stays behind in the temple . He is in His Father’s house or going about His Father’s business.
This is merely a quick précis of the talk which was really interesting. I shall finish with the paragraph on the hand out which Leslie gave us.
“What sort of document is this? A guileless story of a Jewish family?.. or a carefully constructed, and deeply theological presentation of the meaning of Jesus, who he is and what he has come to do, after a pattern of a Jewish Haggadah- scriptual stories told to bring out their meaning.
All the main themes of Luke are expressed in the story, which forms a preface for the rest of the Gospel. The focus of interest is not Mary, but in the child born to her. So it has been in most Christian devotion down the ages. Mary is only honoured because of Jesus: she was simply the handmaid of the Lord, the first disciple, the one who offered herself to God and was used by him in his loving purpose towards mankind.”
Ann Stringer.

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