Sermon for St James, Colwall & All Saints,
Coddington 6 Febvruary 2011 [for full text play MP3 file]
Season: 5thbefore Lent Readings: I Cor 2:5-12 & Matthew 5:13-15 (short because of baptism Theme: Being true to our calling
“We have received not the spirit of the world but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God.”
Production of Brokenville. Starts with characters in dark, lit only by torches.
Searching for own identity and meaning of their world.
Find meaning through story-telling
THE CHRISTIAN STORY:
That is what we hear and explore and express here each Sunday
Readings from Bible link us to the great sweep of God’s purpose through the world
We discover identity and meaning through these stories and the thoughts of the people who experienced them
This is our anchor against all that the world can throw at us
TODAY’S STORIES DO NOT APPEAR TO BE STORIES!
More like an instruction manual – most of us prefer stories
Remember the Big picture is so huge it is impossible for us to comprehend it
“What no eye has seen nor ear heard nor human heart conceived”
Paul talks about the need to search for meaning even “in the depths of God”
Tall order! Are there any clues?
BE CLEAR ABOUT OURSELVES AS MEMBERS OF THE HUMAN RACE
The stories and teachings of the bible make a good start – it’s about people making the same search as us
Seek for the unique “human spirit within” which only you can understand
Never obstruct this search, especially in children and the young
Don’t assume that your understanding will fit someone else
Be open and ready to support the spirits of others
BE CLEAR ABOUT OURSELVES AS GOD’S CHILDREN
He gives the ability to understand his gifts
Understanding means that we can use them
Sermon on Mount – very odd gifts: to be hungry for justice, to show mercy not revenge, to clean up and purify evil, to make peace, to turn aside anger, to be loyal
What would a world with those qualities be like?
USE OUR GIFTS SO THAT THEY CAN BE SEEN
Jesus issues a challenge in the reading we heard – make the world a good-flavoured place! Make the world a place where people do not have to stumble with torches in the darkness, seeking identity and meaning.
At baptism we receive his light to shine and his Spirit to fill us with wonder and understanding, even of “the depths of God”.
May each of us, today and tomorrow and eternally, shine with God’s undiminished glory in the world. AMEN