Passing on what Mantle?

 Gate Pa – 30th July 2013


Hebrew Scripture:     2 Kings  2:1-2, 6-14
Psalm:                         Psalm 77:1-2, 11-20
Epistle:                        Gal 5:1, 13-25
Gospel:                        Luke 9:51-62      

What I want to say:

Who are we passing our mantle on to and what are we passing on?

What I want to happen:

People to reflect on the important people in their lives and how they helped shaped them today
How they seek to help shape and support younger people today
Reflect on what need to let go of pass on mantle of Christ

The Sermon

       1.      Introduction:

Last week Jo asked us to think about people inspired us
Take that bit further this week
at 9.30 service explore story just heard of Elijah and Elisha
spend time four groups
            praying story Elijah and Elisha
            responding to story in art
            telling stories those gone before us in this parish and how we inherited their mantle
            telling stories those inspired us and mantle inherited from them
in groups talk about – those gone before us in this parish
-          those inspired you
รจ what mantle inherited from them

          2. Succession Planning    

     Some of the ministries I have been part of - constant theme - what succession plan do I have in place
      another way saying
                  how am I intentionally passing on the mantle of my ministry
                  not something we think about too often
                  hope/assume/pray – someone will come along
think it is worth all us thinking about that
      how am I intentionally passing on the mantle of my ministry

         3.      What are we passing on

just finished listening to a book by Northern Irish writer – Peter Rollins
exploring idolatry God
how Christian church turned God into commodity we sell promise that God meet all our deepest longings and hopes,
will fill all our gaps
bring long lasting satisfaction and happiness
which suggests not what Christianity is about at all.
Finishes describing some events he ran with others in pub Belfast which explored doubt, uncertainty, unravelling as good things lead us true God
in one services finishes act everyone turning those around offering crumpled paper from theological text saying – “my beliefs broken for you”
what on earth were they on about?
As I listened to that light bulb went on in my head
think got what this really difficult gospel reading heard this morning is about.

        4.      The Gospel

What Jesus says hard
            you can’t go and bury your father
            you can’t go and say good bye family and loved ones
            you can’t do what we just did, look where come from so know who are and what to do in now
because all of that stops you truly seeing and hearing what I am about
think still true today
            but even more so Jesus time
everyone agreed law summarised in “Love your neighbour as yourself” (as heard in Pauls letter)
real limits to who was neighbour
group were actually love as yourself pretty small
looked a lot like you
            neighbour understood to be those from family and community
what is more,
            what you believed
            and how put that into practice
                        pretty much shaped by your family and community
                                    just as it is today most parts world
trouble with those beliefs, and understanding of how neighbour was
rendered large numbers people invisible
beyond your care
beyond God’s care
did not have to worry
Jesus was suggesting a much bigger understanding of who neighbour is
was suggesting we needed bigger understanding God and God’s work in world
knew that if people looked back to family and community,
compassion grow small again

         5.      Conclusion

while it is good to look back and see whose mantle we inherited and how we live that out
have to do that holding Jesus words in our hearts
“No one who puts a hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
important to ask
consider whose mantle picked up
      how we are passing on that mantle
What separates me from those around me?
What beliefs, attitudes, priorities blind me to my neighbour
What might I need to let go of so that I might see as Elisha saw