Gate Pa – Lent 3; Year C
Psalm: Psalm: 63:1-8
First Reading: Isaiah 55:1-9
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 10:1-13
Gospel: Luke 13:1-9
What I want to say:
To invite people to reflect on this parish and their hopes for this parish and then reflect on some of the questions I keep asking in light of that and the gospel reading for the day:
· Whose are we (who is God)?
· Who are we
· What is ours to do?
We are not called to survive or to be successful. We are called to be faithful to who we are in. Ours is to be significant in these communities.
What I want to happen:
People to take these reflections into the meeting and the year ahead.
This week is our AGM. So to give us a little bit of context for our meeting I would like to invite you to talk to your neighbours
ð what is it you like, enjoy about this parish. What keeps you coming here?
ð what are your hopes for the future of this parish
2. The Questions
Over the last few years a lot of what I have talked about has been centred around three questions:
- Whose are we (who is God)?
- Who are we
- What is ours to do?
How we answer that first one colours how we answer them all
as I have been saying over the last few weeks
how we answer that first one shaped by the pattern or lens we apply to it
rivalry - God victorious king,
compliance - judge,
3. Fig Trees and God
so – just heard gospel reading from Luke of Jesus telling story of Fig Tree that does not bear fruit
which figure best represents God in this story – talk neighbour for moment
a comment to start with
- need to be careful doing this
o end reading a lot more into a story than was ever intended
really surprised when it suggested to me that figure best represents God in this story is gardener.
thought either owner
used God being one who owns everything
but in this story the gardener is the one is not quick to judge
who pleads for a second chance
who feeds and nurtures the tree
works so that tree might be all that it can be.
context of this story is discussion about who deserves supposed judgement of God
those killed by Pilate – blood mixed in sacrifice
those killed by falling tower in wall
è they must have been great sinners
Jesus message is clear
we are all great sinners
no-one is more or less deserving of sudden death
4. So What
Who is God – the one who is slow to judge
gives second chances
who feeds and nurtures so that all creation can be all that it was created to be
who give life
who are we – the ones in need of all those second chances
the ones who are fed and nurtured
the ones who receive the gift of life
as individuals and as a community here at St. Georges
what is ours to do?
5. What is ours to do?
That is the question that should shape our AGM
Not called to survive
too often churches get side-tracked on discussions around what they need to attract more people to survive
whether we survive or die as a parish
as a diocese
as a church
entirely up to God
nor are we to be successful
too often is all about numbers sitting in pews
We are to be faithful to God who gives life
who is at work in this community
giving second chances
feeding and nurturing