Gate Pa – Epiphany 5 or 5th Sunday of Ordinary Time – you pick
First Reading: Isaiah 6:1-8
Second Reading: 1 Cor 15:1-11
Gospel: Luke 5:1-1
What I want to say:
I want to explore the nature of our call in terms of who we are rather than what we are clled to do. And I want to use Brain McLarens thoughts on patterns and my thoughts on images to think about being called to be the image of God in this place at this time – what might that mean for us? And I want to explore Te Tiriti in light of all that
What I want to happen:
Invite people to reflect on who they desire to be, and who God deisres them to be.
A married couple in their early 60s were celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary in a quiet and romantic little restaurant.
Suddenly a tiny yet beautiful fairy appeared on their table. She said, “for being such an exemplary married couple and for being loving to each other for all this time, I grant you each a wish”.
The wife answered, Oh, I want to travel around the world with my darling husband”. The fairy waved her magic wand and poof! – two tickets for the Queen Mary II appeared in her hands.
The husband thought for a moment: “well, this is all very romantic, but an opportunity like this will never come again. I’m sorry my love, but my wish is to have a wife 30 years younger than me”.
The wife and the fairy were deeply disappointed, but a wish is a wish. So the fairy waved her magic wand and poof!...the husband became 92 years old.
2. Being Careful
[Isaiah] our desires reveal a lot about us don’t they
a lot of who we really are
the husband was not all that people thought he was
we have just heard the story of the call of Isaiah
called to be a prophet
called to be a prophet to kingdom Judah
Judah thought it was holy and righteous kingdom
kings stood in line with David
worshipped in true temple in Jerusalem
as opposed to those backsliding cousins up north
- Abandoned Davidic kings
- set up own places worship
- now for all their sins - under serious threat from Assyria –
their desires revealed who truly were
Isaiah was called be to prophet to them not to the north
- own desires for wealth and security at expense of the poor
o orphans and widows
o and their northern neighbours
revealed that not all they thought they were
like husbands wish
wonder what our desires reveal about us?
Lent is a time to reflect on exactly that question
–> what do our desires reveal about us?
[disciples] lot of today’s readings are about call
When talk about call – I often think in terms of call to do something
Isaiah was called to prophesy
Peter, James and John were called to follow Jesus and do what he says
I am called to work as a priest
Bonnie is called to teach
others called to play music
work in Altar guild
work as vestry members
go to Synod etc….
Call is often described in terms of doing things
But Isaiah, Peter, James and John weren’t just called to do something
in readings we heard today
called to changed their understanding of who they were.
Isaiah was called to “be” a prophet
involved radical change in how saw himself
how he saw his family
radical change in what he desired
would change how all those people saw him
changed his relationships with everyone
Same is true for Peter, James and John.
stepped out family networks
defined who they were
what did with their lives
how made decisions
the call to follow Jesus redefined everything about themselves
no longer son of ancestors
now disciple of Jesus first and foremost
same is true of us
we talk about our call in terms of doing things
when really we are called to be
4. Be What?
last week talked about patterns by which we understand our lives
used four patterns suggested by Brian McLaren:
remind you what said last week
each pattern has it's own logic.
[logic] McLaren offers three universal patterns of logic that are applied
as read them I thought about images of God that fit with each one
· pattern of rivalry - cosmos is huge battlefield where participants survive by competing, defeating, displacing, winning.
Image of God the goes with that is God the Victorious King.
· pattern of compliance - where learn rules to live by
Image of God is God the judge
· pattern of meaningless mechanism - just cogs larger system with no inherent meaning
· 4th pattern or logic is that of God revealed in life Jesus Christ
- logic or pattern of love
5. Call and Patterns
Lets apply those patterns to our discussion about call
All of us use these patterns to see understand our lives
whether we like it or not
we operate out of rivalry, or compliance, or meaningless mechanism
We are called
like Peter, James and John
to see ourselves differently
we are called to see ourselves in terms of this new pattern revealed in Jesus
this logic of love
that is the call of every Christian
it is a lot harder than it sounds
as our desires reveal
when we feel honest enough to really look at them.
6. Call of Society
another aspect of call that is called into question in today’s readings
that we see call as individual thing
Isaiah was called
Peter was called
I am called
stories heard today – those calls have a communal aspect to them
Call of Isaiah is to be a prophet to kingdom of Judah
remind whole kingdom
that they are to be a community
patterned after God’s compassion, mercy, generosity
->patterned after God’s love
his call had social, economic, political consequences.
Call of Disciples also had social, economic, political consequences
Jesus taught and modelled what communities would look like when
modelled on love
modelled on compassion, mercy, generosity
Same is true for us.
we are called to model what communities would look like when
modelled on love
modelled on compassion, mercy, generosity
7. The Treaty
[Te Tiriti] Yesterday we remembered, commemorated, signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi
intrinsically Anglican document
- petitioned for by, among others, Anglican missionaries
- argued for in London by Anglican humanitarians who sought to protect Maori from worst effects of encounter with settlers
- drawn up and translated by Anglicans
- signed by those trusted (among others) Anglican Missionaries
o understood text in light of what those missionaries taught on other occasions about bible
- taken by (among others) Anglican Missionaries around the country for more Maori to sign
our fingerprints are all over this thing
which is why it is at heart of our church’s constitution.
our desires have too often let us down
too often we lost our calling
lost our identity in God’s love
adopted other patterns
patterns of rivalry – where Maori were seen as opponents, and then enemies
where we desired what they had and more
worked to compete with,
so much of the talk around Treaty Settlements still uses this language
still comes out of this logic
patterns of compliance
where we imposed our rules
meted out punishment when they were not complied with
so much of treaty talk still echoes these patterns as well.
Today we are reminded that we are called to be more
that we are called to live by another pattern
we are called to join Isaiah, Peter, John and James
be a reflection of God’s love, generosity, mercy,
Treaty of Waitangi is ours
We stand with Isaiah
Our calling today is to invite our nation to be more than we have been
to honour the dream of those who first conceived of and signed this document
that our country and how we relate with each other
might once again be patterned of God’s love