Folks at St. John’s, particularly those in attendance at the 10:30 anniversary hymn sing…please take a moment to reflect upon this this week. It is my invitation to you on this anniversary Sunday as your interim incumbent. I ask that you enter more fully into a time of discernment for God’s call in your personal life and for the life of this congregation remembering that it all started centuries before, when God’s sent his Son into the world.
To sin is to deny the God-given dignity within one’s self and within others, denying the true worth of life redeemed by Christ. There are consequences to the “you-can-have-it-all” “do-whatever-I-want” lives that some say is what it means to live in freedom. This, however, is not true freedom, because it causes others to stumble.
Sometimes we might feel like we’re not good enough to approach God in conversation; sometimes we might feel like what we have to say to God doesn’t matter, doesn’t God know it all anyway? Often times we feel the pressures of the day and simply don’t feel like we have time for daily prayer. Those are valid concerns. And, sometime someone will say, “Well, we’ll just leave that up to the prayer warriors…and, well, that’s just not my gift.” But, it is everyone’s gift. That’s the gift of our relationship with God…it’s for everyone, not just a few certain choice people. That’s what the Pharisees thought, too. But, as we hear, it is not true.
Today is a celebration of the Holy Eucharist. Eucharist means thanksgiving. The thanksgiving that we celebrate around this altar is the celebration that makes all of our thanksgivings worthwhile.
I wonder, what would it be like if we would live more like those in the crowd. They were beginning to see that while God provides for us our daily needs, he is also concerned with our spiritual well-being. In other words, God is concerned with our whole being.
…the apostles say to him, “Increase our faith…” It’s as if their afraid that they don’t have enough, that they won’t be enough. Then Jesus responds, “Faith, even an amount as small as a mustard seed, it is enough.” Jesus reminds us…How can this be?
When we are faithful, when we are most faithful to God…that is when we come around to seeing that God is the one who is faithful. We gain new insight, we grow in the Spirit, and we are able to say when we look out from ourselves, “There, there and there…there is the Lord!” And God continues to invite us in further – always further.