Sermon Longview 15 August 2013
There is a bumper bar sticker that says “Jesus is coming – look busy! It sums up in a sort of a way part of our Gospel. But it’s not enough just to look busy. And busyness can be such an idol in this world. We need to be ready, not just taking up all our time and energy with feverish activity. Now it might seem a bit odd me talking about feverish activity here in Longview, a Rest-home. Now is the time for you to be resting from a long and busy life, but there are still things that go on for you.
When Jesus tells us to give all our stuff away to the poor, and not to worry about it, we can take that a bit further- how about those people who we love and pray for, and let’s admit it, worry about. Maybe Jesus’ message for us today is to leave them all in his loving care. It doesn’t mean that we cease to care about them, but that we can be content knowing that God cares about them too, and our prayers for anyone we are concerned about are heard by a loving and attentive God.
The first part of the reading is interesting too.
It is your father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Not a kingdom, the kingdom. There is no sense of time in this – maybe God has already given the kingdom to us. In fact, when Adam and Eve were first placed in the garden of Eden, people were in the kingdom. After they were cast out of the garden, the kingdom of heaven is wherever people love each other. Is the kingdom of heaven here in, Longview? Do people love each other? I am sure that there will always be differences of opinion, but I see a lot of love here, from the staff to the residents, and the other way around, and between the residents. Love and care are an earthly appearance of the kingdom of heaven. And the great thing about the kingdom of heaven is that it never stops. Our bodies and minds get frail, things start to hurt and seize up, our memories keep us in the past more than the present, but the kingdom of heaven will be constant for us. Even after our physical bodies have finished the road, and die, our souls are still going on in the kingdom of heaven. But without the frail painful body the soul is free – we can look forward to an eternity in the presence of God.
Do not be afraid, little flock, it is the Father’s pleasure to give you the kingdom.