Friday, October 31, 2014

Last Sermon at St John's Village Nursing Home Service, three hours until retirement!

Two quotes: from Psalm 139, “and at the end, I am still in your presence.” and from John’s Gospel where Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” What might these words mean for us today?

With the words, “I am,” every good Jew as well as everyone who’s read or listened to the Scripture goes back to Moses leaving the road and taking off his shoes to see and listen to this burning bush, which tells him to announce that “I am” sent me, that he is sent forth to live and give his life in light of that light, that voice calling out, “I am,” which is being and becoming and never burned out and alway beginning and always here and now. 

So when Jesus’ friends hear, so when they (and we) see Jesus, their hope and ours is that we are seeing that word made flesh, that hope in the heart of human being from the beginning: God for us, with us, in us: the way, the truth, the life. 

The earliest Christians, before the term “Christian” was used, were called Followers of the Way.  So what is that way that we can follow today. I think it is to take on the yoke of discipline, desire and hope that Jesus models in his life, that God will meet us on the way here, right here and now, that God’s love looks to be found in every place we see, every moment of time, even and especially here and now; that that is the truth. 

The “truth” is a funny thing, one thinks of the vow to tell, “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.” But, in fact, the truth is often, if not always, bigger than we know, more than we can say, can really get our mind around; not like a vow and more like a lighted city seen off in the distance, glimpsing occasionally and partially with great hope; a wide reality where love lives that is larger than we can realise. 

So even if we cannot tell that full truth we sometimes see it both up ahead and here and now, we can still will to walk in that direction. Because this is the way of life we share with Jesus: to look to all things, all places, people, predicaments, with the question, “What is this to love?”  

And that leads us to a larger life; in all its fullness, with hope and disappointment, gain and loss, joy and sorrow, life and death and something more too, all wrapped up in walking the way, leaning into the truth, living the life we are given while looking for Grace in the present moment, the present trial, the present truth. 

An ongoing Way where God’s truth, God’s love, God’s life, meets ours in being and becoming, in healing and hopes,  in triumphs and trials, in life and death and that unforeseeable rising into new life that Jesus meets and lives through and aims to share with us in the gift of God’s spirit in our lives; God’s breath breathing us through every moment, here and now and always, calling us to follow Christ as the way and the truth and the life that grows us into greater life with God. 

“O Lord, you have searched me out and known me; you know my sitting down and my rising up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You mark out my journeys and my resting place and are acquainted with all my ways.
In the name of Christ, Amen.

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