Friday, May 03, 2013

Seeing, Knowing, Speaking



 Gate Pa – Easter 6 and Harvest Festival

Readings:

First Reading:             Acts 16:9-15                 
Psalm:                         67
Second Reading:        Rev 21:10, 22-22:5-6                         
Gospel:                        John 5:1-9                             

What I want to say:

that it is really hard to love one another
            who we love and how we love keeps being made smaller by culture and religion
            we Christians struggled with this from beginning
            if we had truly loved as Jesus loved then would been no wars
are not able to – too hard
2 options
            give up and carry on as have
            repent of lack love, and with God seek love another as Christ loves
explore how Chris loves using reading from John 5 – how we sees, knows and returns people community of God.
relate that to both harvest festival and to three children will baptise

What I want to happen:

people to reflect on who they might need to see, and how we might love them

The Sermon 

1.      Introduction:

`Love one another. As I have loved you, love one another. By this will all know you are my disciples.
As I said last week sounds straight forward and easy to do
            discovered as looked readings Acts and Galatians and down centuries since
            actually really hard to love one another
            who we love and how we love keeps being made smaller by culture and our religion
            we Christians struggled with this “loving one another as Christ loves us” from very beginning
            if we had truly loved as Jesus loved then would been no wars
didn’t say we shouldn’t fought in wars –
said that there would have been no wars for us to fight in.
            very different thing
reality is that we are simply not able to love as Jesus loved
            there are individuals who get pretty close
                        call most of them saints
rest us, just seems too hard
2 options
            give up and carry on as have – not loving
            or repent of lack love,
                        and with God seek love another as Christ loves
                        pick ourselves up and try again, and again, and again.

      2.      Loving like Jesus

why is loving as Jesus did so difficult?
I suggest that it involves seeing people and seeing our world really differently
saw that last week – stories around who allowed in early church and how treated
see that in reading Gospel this morning
on face of it seems like pretty simple story of Jesus healing someone
            lot more going on
One commentators talked about difference between disease and illness
disease is symptoms – what we tend focus on
illness is both cause and consequence of disease
            not bacteria or viruses
            disruption/disordering/destruction of right relationships with God, family, neighbour, community
            disruption of those relationships is manifest in illness
            causes more disruption
so this man in story is alone
            for whatever reason – family abandoned him
            now an outsider
                        nobody
                        invisible
                        belongs to no-one and nowhere
when we read story we read point healing when disease – symptoms are dealt with
            to be when Jesus says, “stand up, take your mat and walk.”
But if illness is really destroyed relationships which led man to be invisible
point healing of that is when in verse 6
When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”
notice what Jesus does to this invisible non person
            sees him – no –one else saw him – invisible
            knew about him – no-one else took time to know anything about him                     non person
                        belongs to no-one and nowhere
            spoke to him – no-one spoke to him – he did not exist
Jesus culture and religion said this person should be treated as if they did not exist, was beyond love.
            they are beyond God’s care
Jesus broke all those ways seeing world
            saw him
            knew him
            spoke to him
and in doing so healed the broken relationships, and restored to his place in God’s community
all this of course gets Jesus into heaps of trouble
            not only for act itself
            but because it is the Sabbath – day of rest
another reason why loving as Jesus does is hard
            to truly love as Jesus loves is dangerous
who is invisible to us
who do we need to see, to know, to treat as God’s beloved when nearly everyone else says – move on by quickly?

      3.      William Wilberforce

a person who lived out exactly what Jesus did today in gospel - William Wilberforce
            someone that  saw slaves – had been invisible
            worked tirelessly to not only see them but to know them
            like Jesus and man read about today
                        love them and  free them
Another fact many people don’t know is that Wilberforce and many worked with him ending slavery were also heavily involved in formation of SPCA
for them – how we treat each other and how treat animals is intimately linked
if we treat animals simply means satisfy our needs
            – small step treat fellow humans means satisfy our needs

      4.      Harvest Festival

(suggest not only animals but all creation)
today is harvest festival
as said in pew sheet
We join with all God’s people giving thanks for God’s provision.
we give thanks for the harvest that we might have grown,
and the harvest we are able to buy each day in the shops. 
in celebrating God’s abundant provision we are invited to two things
            acknowledge that creation is God’s and not ours to use and abuse as we wish
            be satisfied with all that God does provide, and not seek and strive for more.
            that means
                        to be generous as God is generous
                        to share God’s fruits and goodness with all.

      5.      Baptism

Today we baptise Gracie Rose, Holly Lorraine and Clara Elizabeth.
big day
today we celebrate gift life given by God in these three young girls
we celebrate God’s profound freely given gift of love found in each of these girls
                  Divine spirit love dwells within each of them
      today join parents, Matthew and Coral, friends and family
      praying these girls will grow knowing that gift.
today we also invite them to join with us in our struggle to live that out
                  our struggle to love
      love as Jesus does
      love all Jesus loves
      on this harvest festival, to love God’s creation as Jesus does
we are all invited to see all people and all creation as God’s
that means inviting them to be with us as seek to be satisfied with all that God provides
                        to be generous as God is generous
                        to share God’s fruits and goodness with all.



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