All Saints with St James’ Church, Brightlingsea
Who are you looking for? It’s the question the risen Jesus asked Mary Magdalene.
Mary was most likely from Magdala, a fishing town on the coast of Galilee. The popular misconception is that she was a prostitute: The Bible doesn’t say that. It says Jesus cast 7 demons out of her. That sounds like demonic possession, mental illness, madness, shunned by society.
But Jesus didn’t shun her. He delivered her from her demons. She became his devoted follower. Every time female followers of Jesus are mentioned, Mary is always put first. She gave her life and used her possessions to serve Jesus during his 3-year ministry.
Next, we know from Matthew and Mark that Mary and other women watched Jesus’ crucifixion and death.
I couldn’t watch a crucifixion. It must have been torture seeing the man who had changed her life, who had done nothing wrong, having been flogged with an iron-tipped whip, brutally nailed to a cross, mocked, unable to breathe without bearing down on the nail through his feet. Yet she watched it all so he didn’t suffer on his own. That’s devotion.
But her devotion didn’t stop there. Matthew and Mark both tell us that Mary Magdalene and other women watched where he was buried by Joseph of Arimathea. They stood by Jesus right to the end.
Except it wasn’t the end. We know – but they didn’t – that the greatest event in history was about to unfold.
Matthew, Mark and Luke say that Mary was among the women who were first to the tomb on Easter morning.
John says Mary went to the tomb alone. The tomb is empty so she runs back to tell the disciples. Peter and John run back to the tomb with her. They see that Jesus’ body is not there. So, they start back to tell the others.
But Mary stays there, crying. They hated Jesus so much they crucified him, and now they have desecrated his grave and stolen his body.
She sees a man but doesn’t realise it’s Jesus. “Woman why are you crying? Who is it that you are looking for?” he says. ‘Who are you looking for?’
She mistakes him for the gardener! ‘If you have taken him away tell me where you have put him and I will get him’
So what does Jesus say? He calls her by her name; Mary. He speaks straight into her heart, into the very core of her being. Jesus calls us by our name, speaking into the very core of our being.
And Mary responds, ‘Rabouni’, ‘Teacher’. It was the same Jesus who had delivered her from her demons and changed her life. And he’s alive – for ever!
So, who are you looking for today? Talk to him. Like Mary you will find him closer than you think!
Christopher Bloor, Authorised Lay Preacher. From a talk given on 22/7, St Mary Magdalene’s day
London Community Gospel Choir Sat 13th Oct 7.30 St James
Yes! After the very successful Gospel Workshop on 28th July led by their conductor Rev’d Bazil Meade, we have a section of these internationally-renowned professional Gospel Singers and their supporting band coming to St James on Sat 13th Oct at 7.30! Tickets are available from Spirals (Victoria Place) or from Judith Gibbons on 07889 99 53 59. The tickets are £20 each (no concessions) and are already selling very quickly. Hurry! Not to be missed.
Services (For details click here)
1st, 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month: 8.00 communion and 10.00 Parish Eucharist at St James
3rd Sunday of each month: 8.00 communion and 10.00 Parish Eucharist at All Saints and 10.00 Sparklers at St James.
5th Sunday: 8.00 communion and 10.00 All-age worship at St James.
Tuesday: 9.00 a.m. informal prayer at St James
Wednesday: 10.00 said communion at St James
Thursday: 8.15 informal prayer at St James
Friday: 10.30 Prayers for the sick at St James.
Events (For details click here)
Baptisms Weddings and Funerals Click here
For News and Information click here
For all contact details click here
Vicar: Please note that while we are without a Vicar, any enquiries should be directed to the church office either on 01206 30 23 78 or firstname.lastname@example.org There is an out-of-hours answering service: telephone and email messages are collected and answered regularly. The Church Office is open on Mondays 10-12pm. Letters can be posted through to the office when St James is open 8am-2pm each weekday. Alternatively please contact one of the churchwardens:-
Carole Warren 825 027 email@example.com
Bob Goodenough 30 37 49 firstname.lastname@example.org
PCC Secretary/PCC Treasurer: c/o Church Office, Victoria Place, Brightlingsea CO7 0AB
Parish website: allsaintswithstjamesb-sea.co.uk
Our Mother Church, All Saints’, although no longer the central place of worship, is an integral and essential part of our life together. We seek to enhance its role within the affections of the community and to worship there regularly. The Sunday services (8.00 communion and 10.00 Parish Eucharist) are held at All Saints every third Sunday in the month. At the same time there is a ‘Sparklers’ Sunday School for 4-12 year-olds on the 3rd Sunday of each month at St James at 10.00.