Early Thoughts: Can you blame them? Honestly can you?
Jesus is dead and buried. You know it to be true. You may not like it, you may wish it wasn't true but you know that it is. Then someone comes up and tells you that they have met Jesus, that he is alive, he has risen.
What would your first response be?
Might you be more than a little dubious?
Might you think that their emotion has got the better of them?
Or would you believe them?
After almost 2000 years of Christian faith, it is easy to wonder why those who first heard from the first witnesses did not believe. After all, many of us have heard the Easter story since we were infants, it has soaked in to our bones.
But maybe we too would have thought it to be an idle tale...
Early Thoughts: Over and over again we have seen the power of the mob. Mobs can change the world. Sometimes for the better. Sometimes for the worse.
This week we hear about two different mobs. One on the roadside shouting words of praise. Another gathering to shout words of scorn and condemnation.
Mobs are interesting things. In the midst of a mob people will do and say (again for better or worse) things they may not do or say on their own. A mob can pull us along with it. A mob can make leaders think something is more supported than it actually is. A mob can drive events forward.
This week we hear about a mob that gathers to share hope and joy. They gather to celebrate the coming of one who they believe to be The One. Why are they there? Were they just in the right place at the right time or did someone invite them? How many of them are caught up in the emotion of the event, blinded in the joy of the moment to the realities of the world in which they live? Can this mob transform the world?
This week we hear of a mob that gathers to deal with a troublemaker, They gather to witness the arrest and trial and to ensure that the "proper" decision gets made. Why are they there? Did they join in of their own accord or were they stirred up by an another? Were they afraid of this man? Were they angry with him? How many of them were just caught up in the emotion around them? Were they joining in lest they be the next on trial? Can this mob stop things from changing?
Mobs are interesting things. Mob politics is a dangerous game to play. What is the mob story this week?
The Sermon title is The Church in the World:Poverty and Wealth
Early Thoughts: Read that Gospel passage. Hands up those who agree with Judas!!
This Gospel story is troubling. Whenever I read
it I find myself agreeing with Judas -- and I really doubt that was
John's intention. But really, his complaint makes sense. Why waste all
that money on perfume for the feet when it could buy food for someone
who is starving?
And Jesus' response is truly less than
helpful. "You will always have the poor with you" I mean really, doesn't
that sound like saying "You can't solve the problem so feel free to
waste money on other stuff". And yet the witness of Scripture is
uniform. WE have a responsibility to care for the least among us. WE
have a duty to work towards the eradication of poverty. Jesus himself
points out this duty several times in the Gospel accounts (poverty is by
far a larger issue in Scripture than sexual ethics). What's up?
question of wealth and poverty is a hard one. The question of what to
do about resource distribution is a hard one. But since we live in the
world with all its inequities we have to ask ourselves about these
questions. WE have to ask why the poor are always with us. WE have to
discuss what to do about that unfortunate fact.
Join us on Sunday as we
try to explore these questions and deal with the fact that we may be
cheering for Judas after all. --Gord