We are fools for the sake of Christ (1 Cor 4:10)
This is one of my favourite bible verses as I have played the fool a number of times for Christ or otherwise. However, I am an particularly taken with this verse being an April Fool's baby being born on April 1st
Tuesday, 2 February 2016
Sermon January 31, 2016
Sunday I gave you a preview of this week’s Gospel where Jesus is ridden out of
town on a rail so to speak. His
understanding who he is—the fulfillment of scripture and his proclamation of
the Kingdom of God did not sit well with the people and particularly the
religious and civil authorities. As we
know, this led to Good Friday and the ultimate triumph of Easter Sunday. As we are fallible humans and therefore
accept that we cannot know with certainty God’s will how are we to proceed as
Christians and the Church—the Body of Christ until his return.
can stand back and ask ourselves, “How could the leaders of the church and the
civil authorities and the Jews not recognize Jesus of Nazareth as the Christ,
the Messiah”. But the question for us
today is, “where would we have stood with those people in the Synagogue in
Jesus’ home town if we had heard him proclaim that message. I have serious doubts I would have been there
to stand up for him much less defend him when the crowd wanted to throw him off
the cliff to get rid of this troublesome rabbi. How can we stand with Jesus as individuals
and as the Body of Christ in the world today?
answer is here before us this morning in the Epistle. Paul tells us that we cannot know things for
certain. He tells us that we can only
see things i.e. the truth of God, as one looking in
a mirror, dimly. As an aside, I
must say that I prefer the poetry of the KJV, “For now we see
through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then
shall I know even as also I am known”.
will of God does seem at times like trying to get a hold of smoke or grasping
at straws. We get a glimpse through that
dark glass and we realize that it is beyond our grasp and it slips away as
dreams often do when we wake up in the morning.
We realize that our will and God’s do not adhere and unfortunately no
matter how hard we try we will allow our will to win.
if we were to give up and leave it there we would be with Peter and the
disciples who ran denied Jesus and ran away from the cross in fear and
confusion. We know that Peter and the
disciples turned around and repented that understandable sin. Fortunately Paul tells us what the answer is
when we despair of ever seeing more clearly through that dark glass following
Jesus and knowing the will of God. Paul
tells us that God is a God of Love. Paul
tells us that we may have earthy success and wealth and power and even lead a
virtuous life but if we do not have love we have nothing:
If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not
have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2And
if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and
if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am
nothing. 3If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand
over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Beetles got it right in their song “All you
Need is Love”:
There's nothing you can do that can't be done
Nothing you can sing that can't be sung
Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game. It's easy.
All you need is love. Love is all you need.
Well perhaps they didn’t get all of it right. All you do need is love but it’s not
easy. Consider this; when was the last
time that you wanted something for yourself that was not the best for someone
else. Or put it another way when was the
last time you put the needs of someone before your own needs? I must confess that it wasn’t that long ago
for me—to be generous with myself, perhaps a few hours ago. No, John, George
Paul and Ringo, it’s not easy. But it is
What we are dealing with here is sin. As our baptismal covenant asks, “Will you
persevere in resisting evil and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return
to the Lord?” The answer is, “I will,
with God’s help”. Let‘s try that
that simple and that hard. We need to
love God and one another as God loves us.
When, not if but when, we don’t we need to repent, to turn around and
try again. Thank God we have the
forgiveness of sin that is offered to us in our baptism through Jesus Christ
are going into our Vestry meeting following worship. Let us remember to let love be the guide on
all that we consider in the meeting and let the love of God direct all our
decisions. Let love be our guiding
principle in all we do in St. John’s in the year following until next Vestry
and in every Vestry to come.