Hurrying up to Wait

This sermon can be listened to here

Gate Pa – Year A 32nd Sunday of Ordinary Time, 2020

Readings:
Psalm                          Psalm 78:1-7                         
First Reading:             Joshua 24:1-3, 14-25              
Second Reading:        1 Thessalonians 4:9-18                           
Gospel:                        Matthew 25:1-13                               

What I want to say:

  • What are people’s reactions and questions to our gospel reading this morning?
  • What do these readings offer us in these times?
  • We are invited to get ready to live lives of active waiting for reign of God, living for the long haul but looking for the surprising breakouts of the God’s justice, mercy, compassion and generosity.

What I want to happen:

  • What are we waiting for?
  • How do we wait?

The Sermon

       1.      Introduction:

What are your reactions and questions to our gospel reading this morning?
What do these readings offer us in these times?

        ð  Discussion 

       2.      Context

3 contexts can take note of when ready this passage

     a.      Place in Matthews gospel

          -          5th and final block of teaching about destruction of Jerusalem and then coming of son of Man and fullness of kingdom of heaven (chapter 24 and 25) as they leave temple and admire it’s grandeur

     b.      Written for Jewish Christian community suffered

         -          devastation of fall of Jerusalem,
         -          rupture relationship with larger Jewish diaspora,
         -          and persecution Roman authorities
    ð  all of which felt like great pointers to Jesus return
         -          not returned
         -          what was that about
         -          how to live in that tension

     c.       world where weddings are way different from ours

        -          we agreement made – bridegroom build room on his father’s house (sound familiar)
        -          when finished – Father’s standards

o   go to collect new wife and return with her and family consummate deal

o   have a big big party

       -          what is happening here

       3.      Waiting - What are we waiting for?

Where in Matthew would we find what Kingdom of Heaven looked like?

     ð  For Matthew that is Beatitudes and Sermon on Mount

-          Gospel is about

-          Jesus is the fulfilment of law and prophets

-          Lives out in Kingdom of Heaven in his teaching, life, and ministry

As I have said is a world where the most important people are:

o   the poor in spirit,

o   those who mourn,

o   the meek,

o   those who hunger and thirst for God’s justice,

o   the pure in heart,

o   the merciful,

o   the peacemakers,

o   those who are persecuted for the sake of God’s justice,
-          a world where all flourish
-          Where the common good is held as paramount
-          A world where the needs of the poor are placed first
-          Where ALL are treated with honour and respect
-          And given what they need to thrive

ð  Still a long way off

ð  Seems to be a lot of waiting to do
ð  Need to be like those street-wise or sensible virgins

       4.      Waiting -How do we wait?

Holding that vision before

-          How do I keep this vision before me?

-          How does this shape my prayers and my life?

-          In what ways to I aspire to be among the

o   the poor in spirit,

o   those who mourn,

o   the meek,

o   those who hunger and thirst for God’s justice,

o   the pure in heart,

o   the merciful,

o   the peacemakers,

o   those who are persecuted for the sake of God’s justice,

-          Not lose hope – living and “believing in spite of the evidence, and then watching the evidence change.” (Jim Wallis)

-          Keeping watch out for the surprising breakouts of the God’s justice, mercy, compassion, and generosity.

       5.      Conclusion

What are we waiting for?

How do we wait?

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