Ray of Darkness by Rowan Williams

(Cowley; USA, 1995)

Ray of Darkness is a collection of ++Rowan’s sermons from the mid 1990s around key Christian dates, creeds and dogmas.  I dipped into the relevant Holy Week and Easter sermons through-out the past weeks.  The sermons never failed to move me.  This is a book to have on one’s bookshelf for those moments when you are in need of a 5 minute spiritual pep talk that goes beyond banal platitudes.

I wish they were available on line, but unfortunately I’ve not found them anywhere.  However, you can access ++Rowan’s latest sermons on the ABofC website, including his 2012 easter day sermon.

I’ll share just one quote from ++Rowan which sums up my Holy Week experience (and ends this series of reddress posts):

In this week, the holy is redefined and recreated for us. The temple is rebuilt as the body of the crucified Christ, not a place of exclusions, a house of merchandise where we must barter to be allowed in, trading our daily lives, our secular joys and pains for the sacred currency of ritual and acceptable pure gifts that will placate God, but the cross by the roadside, unfenced, unadorned, the public and defenseless place where God gives us room.

Holy Week, with all its intensity of ritual and imaginative elaboration, comes paradoxically to break down the walls of self-contained religion and morality and to gather us around the one true holy place of the Christian religion, Jesus himself, displayed to the world as the public language of our God, placarded on the history of human suffering that stretches along the roadside. This is a weekfor learning – not management, bargaining, and rule-keeping, but naked trust in that naked gift.



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