Sunday, October 22, 2017

How on Earth did we get here?

Sermon for the Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity

You leave the house at the usual time as you go off to your usual haunt. It is as you get there that you suddenly find that you have no recollection of actually getting there. There seems to be a gap in your memory of crossing all those roads, walking down all those streets, turning at all those junctions. You just don’t remember. It is as if you have just appeared.

The route is that familiar. Heavens! Did you look both ways before crossing that busy road? Did you even remember to shut the door behind you? Of course, nagging doubts could come in here, or you can perhaps suspend them comforted by the fact that you’d have noticed things out of the ordinary.

Yet, isn’t it a bit frightening to think that your last journey has happened without any thought from you? Is this how we are going to live life, without memory, without thought? Is life just going to be a destination? A means to an end?


As Christians, we know that our life now matters. We aren’t saved once and for all right now and can just coast to the end of our lives. We are in the process of being saved and being created, and we do have a hand in that whole process. St Paul reminds us:

This, I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind; having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: who, being past feeling, have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

St Paul says that he doesn’t want us to sleepwalk through our lives and that this isn’t just his will but that he is testifying to the will of God in the matter. He explains that God wants us to be aware of living, and living not our lives with all their selfishness and weakness, but living in His life which is true life. If we just coast, trusting that whatever we’re doing is correct, then we’re not looking for that life of God within us.

That’s not to say that we suddenly need to become oversensitive to our faults and our failings - that way lies a spiritual and nervous breakdown. It means that we need to recognise our faults when they occur and bring them to God for healing and a resolve on our part to do what we can to remedy them.

Yes, we can be angry, but we must put a time limit on that anger and use its passion to work God’s good. Yes, we do need to see what we are stealing from other people and stop it, but remember that good hard work is something that will give us a better walk with God and help bring others to their nourishment in Him. Yes, we must look carefully at what we say and ask ourselves whether what we have just said would ever come out of one who truly knows God, but recognise that any word spoken with love is already borne on the wings of the Holy Ghost.


This takes practice which shows why we need our salvation to be a process so that we can progress better along our walk of life and draw nearer to living the life that God wants for us. We must make sure that we build in a good system of self-examination into our daily prayers so that this can happen more naturally.

Life is not something that we can afford to be so familiar with that we should treat it with contempt, especially if God gave it to us.

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