Summary: This sermon is specifically for Old Carthusians. Lt General Sir William Dobbie (aka Dobbie of Malta) received Jesus as his Saviour and Lord whilst a pupil at Charterhouse school, and what an exciting life he had
Story. A number of years ago, I decided to downsize.
Now when a rural Vicar talks of downsizing he means reducing the number of parishes he has
In my case it meant going from 15 parishes to five.
And this also meant moving house.
As we were taking our bedroom apart, I found 2 baskets underneath our bed.
One with three eggs in and the other with £50
So I asked Maddy my wife what the two baskets were about.
"Oh " she said " I must confess that everytime you preach a bad sermon I put an egg in the basket"
Secretly I was quite pleased - I thought ”Not bad three bad sermons over three years”
But what is the £50 for in the other basket.
She gave me a sweet smile as all Vicar’s wives do to their husband and said
"Well every time I got a dozen, I sold them!"
Hopefully this won’t be an egg sermon!
Christianity differs from every other religion in that it tells us how we can have a living relationship with Jesus Christ, its founder today.
No other religion can offer that, for their founders are long dead and buried.
What the Christain faith is all about can be summed up in the words from John’s Gospel we have just had read. Speaking of Jesus, St John wrote:
10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.
11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.
12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
Jesus was sent by his heavenly Father into the world.
He was born as a little baby and he grew up and ministered in the Holy Land
He had a ministry of about three years before he was nailed to a Roman Cross and died.
Now that should have been the end of the movement.
All what seemed left were 11 disciples, who were terrified that they might be next and who fled from Jerusalem to the Sea of Galilee.
Not a great way to start a religious movement you might say
And that should have been the end of this small Jewish sect that claimed Jesus was the Messiah
After all in the first century AD many Messiahs had sprung up in Galilee. Then their leader was executed by the Romans and that was usually the end of the movement.
Except this one
And within 300 years Christianity became the state religion of the Roman Empire.
How did the Church grow from such inconspicuous beginnings to becoming the Roman Empire’s state religion?
Cambridge Professor Charlie Moule gave the persuasive answer I have seen when he wrote
"the birth and rapid rise of the Christian Church ... remains an unsolved enigma for any historian who refuses to take seriously the only explanation offered by the church itself, the resurrection."
(C.F.D. Moule, The Phenomenon of the New Testament).
Jesus Christ died on a Roman Cross but was raised to life by God three days later.
In the New Testament, at least 513 men and at least one woman (Mary Magdalene) are recorded as attesting at various different times to having met the risen Jesus.
It was clearly not one mass hallucination.
Since he rose again, we all have the ability to know him personally.
I would now like to connect this to Charterhouse
Thomas Sutton died in 1611 and left part of his fortune to be invested in establishing an alms-house for 80 impoverished gentlemen, combined with a school for 40 boys, on the site of his house off Charterhouse Square, on the outskirts of the City of London.
This institution was to be named the Hospital of King James in Charterhouse, although it later became known as Sutton's Hospital in Charterhouse and King James I was on the Governing Board.
As you all know The alms-house survives on the original site
While the school, now called Charterhouse School, (and known by the boys as C’house) relocated
to Godalming, Surrey, in 1872
Charterhouse has given Carthusians over the years a good Christian foundation
This evening I would like to talk about one OC who surprisingly was not part of the New Hops test.
First of all for those of you who don’t know, The New Hops test was a test given to new boys to the School
It required the new Hop to know important things about Charterhouse - like how many tiles are there on the roof of Charterhouse Chapel.
Any ideas – None they are all slates!