Sermon For Easter 5 Lerwick and yell 2019
I have just got back from my parents home (as many of you will know) It is the place where I grew up, and I guess really … yes it is still home.
They live in the same house, their only home together, many of the things are just the same, and mum even commented this week that the plates we were eating off were a present to her on her 21st birthday.
It was lovely to be there to celebrate my Dad’s 90th birthday.
But do I realise something for myself in this trip into memory lane?
Is there a challenge I am forced to face more and more as I grow up? …….that is how to see things differently! How can I see things differently?
Am I getting set in my ways? (careful!)
Am I growing stubborn? (even more careful!)
Ok ….well lets just keep my more personal way and wherefores and get back to more churchy things?
We have probably all grown up with habits of interpretation both of church practice and biblical image…. how many of us took some trips down memory lane last week when the Good Shepherd kept appearing?
Today we are reminded that we need to be able to see things in a new and challenging way when it comes to the way God works. And ways we may have interpreted the bible in the past may need revising.
Peter stepped up a big step in the epistle today when he realized (not without difficulty either) that God included Gentiles. God’s love and all affirming grace reached to the folk he had grown up so clearly knowing were not included.
It is so easy to feel comfortable in our faith if we think we are accepted and included and if we think we are doing the right thing. But what if we lived somewhere where who we were was persecuted and unwelcome? What would we do?
The reading from the book of Revelation today is also comfortable and familiar to us…. I have used it many a time in services…. we know the words very well…. we have seen in it art and in words often explored.
But what a revolution to see a new heaven and new earth when the first heaven and earth had passed away….. We have only just got used to the way this earth seems to work (or not) never mind what we think of heaven (maybe touching on last week here too) to suddenly be confronted with something new and challenging.
But what do we make of the home of God being among mortals? What do we make of God being with us and alongside us? (surely God is sometimes better kept out?)
I am making all things new… we hear…..
People like me who are set in their ways will be filled with fear at what God is trying to do!
So we find ourselves with Jesus and sitting comfortably at his feet. We are like little children in the company of a loving parent and teacher.
But what is it we hear…. “A new commandment!” How are we supposed to take this one in….
how are we to love as he loved… how are we to love one another in such a way that everyone around us will recognise us as disciples.
Yet another challenge to those of us who feel sure we are right… well at least set in our ways anyway!
So some challenges along the way
Be willing and able to see things differently.
Be willing and able to accept the new
Be willing and able to move forward not knowing where it will end.
Be willing and able to love… completely and recklessly.