"Word for The Week"

Past issues

For previous editions of "Word for the Week" see links here:
March 2009: Can Darwin Save me? (Alison Bailey Castellina)
Feburary 2009 : Seeking Guidance from God (Alison Bailey Castellina)
January 2009: A Global Deception(Alison Bailey Castellina)
January 2009: Countering our Mega Fears (Mark 9) Alison Bailey Castellina
August 2007: Where is God in trouble? (Alison Bailey August 2007)
July 2007: Why do people only pray in a crisis when God is their last resort? (Alison Bailey linking to a sermon by Revd. Mark Meynell)
June 2007: Is ME/CFS part of God's plan for me? (Alison Bailey)
April 2007: What can I believe in ME/CFS? (Paolo Castellina and Alison Bailey)
Easter Sunday 2007: Why Good Deeds are not enough in ME/CFS (Alison Bailey)
March 2007 : Your Biggest Problem (1) Revd Rico Tice
March 2007 : Your Biggest Problem (2) - Pastor Paolo Castellina
February 2007 : Recovering the fullness of Human Potential - Pastor Paolo Castellina (video)
Sunday, January 21st, 2007 : The Causes and Cure of Wounds (Charles Haddon Spurgeon)>>
Sunday January 14th 2007 - Prayers in times of distress and emergencies (Charles Haddon Spurgeon)
Sunday January 7th 2007 - Where Was God? (Alison Bailey)
Sunday November 26th 2006 - The trial of disease which affects the brain (Victorian woman writer on illness)
Sunday November 19th 2006 - "Be still and know that I am God"
October 2006 - Can I endure it? (Victorian woman writer on illness)
Sunday September 24th 2006 - Meditation on the Hiddenness of Illness (Victorian Woman Writer on Illness)
Sunday September 18th 2006 - Meditation on the loss of the powers of the mind (Victorian Woman Writer on Illness)
Sunday September 8th 2006 - Can no one sympathise with me? (Victorian Woman Writer on Illness)

Bible Quote from Leviticus 25.35-38 which has relevance to individuals seeking to make profit from people with ME/CFS, or those feeling justified in turning them away, when they may have no other means of support:
"If your brother (or believing sister) becomes poor and cannot maintain him/herself with you, you shall support him/her as though he/she were a stranger and a sojourner, and he/she shall live with you. Take no interest from him/her or profit, but fear your God that your brother/sister may live beside you."

Easter Message 2009

By Revd Paolo Castellina (Alison's husband)

The words for "Passover" and "Easter" in the Biblical Language tell us more about the real meaning of Easter.

The Word for Easter is "Pasqua" in Italian which is related to the word for the Passover, which is "Passaggio", literally "The Passage" or transition, the "passing over".

The first "passage" was a passage through the Red Sea from real life slavery and bondage, into a "middle state", a state of moving towards something, though not yet attaining it, by way of the desert. The destination the Israelites sought was the Promised Land. This is what is known as a "type". That is something in the OT foreshadowing and giving fuller symbolic meaning to the NT. The Exodus contains many of these "prototypes" of the Christian life, of its victories but also its failures and contradictions.

In the same way, the events of "Pasqua" (Paque in French), mean a "crossing over" from one state to another, set in motion by Jesus as the leader, prefigured by Moses we are rescued and led from slavery to self and bondage to sin, in a metaphorical Egypt, towards a land of freedom, Heaven. But in the meantime, we are moving throuh the desert, sometimes falling, sometimes rebelling, sometimes turning back, sometimes going in circles, somtimes confused when we ignore teaching in the Word of God - as the Israelites were.

We are not there yet: we do not have the full fruits of our salvation but we have some foretastes in the "manna" given to us, in the turning from sin, in the provision for us as we pray, in the Holy Spirit's comforts and guidance. And in this state, God is not only leading us by a pillar of cloud by day and by fire by night, but also using the fire to test and to try us, to prepare us for our destination, to develop Christian character which is a distinctive witness.

We are still stung by scorpions (not unto spiritual death), weighted down by our human bodies, its nature and its limitations. Though there may be miracles, we do not test God by demanding them, as the Israelites, through bad judgment and rebellion did at Mara.

Certainly, by God's grace, healing can happen, as when Moses directed the people, bitten by fiery serpents to look at the serpent on the pole (a figure of the Cross - sin on the Cross). But we do not expect and demand "Healing Now!" as long as we are in this transition period though we trust in a God who can heal, and who loves us immeasurably.

In the NT the healings were a sign of a Kingdom that is coming but is not yet fully come, a new reality. But only a few, in the wider perspective, were healed. What mattered immeasurably more was spiritual salvation, as when Jesus healed the paralytic by first taking care of his spiritual condition. So we are patient and realistic as we make progress in obedience to Scripture. In this way, we are reaching nearer to our heavenly destination, day by day.

Alison's theological site is http://refuge.wikispaces.com