To Prepare for this sermon I took a ball of string and passed it through the entire congregation from the back to the choir.
Please sit down
May the words of my mouth
And the thoughts of my heart be acceptable in the sight of he who Protects, saves and redeems
Thank you for having me.
What I want to do today is join two of our readings together Colossians and Luke
To do that I need a piece of string shared out
(start at the back and wind to the front)
Once done ask them to get the notices page and let’s look at today’s readings together.
Imagine that piece of string Is Christ, and as it says in our readings today, he is the beginning and the first born. So although we began our piece of string here in this church it really begins with Adam, the firstborn. And it goes on through creation. as we say when we pray as it was in the beginning, is now, and shall be forever
So if you have hold of that string you have hold of eternity
Also like the string which is holding us together it says in scripture in him all things hold together
The other thing about that string is that like all metaphors its not perfect because if that string was really Jesus then it would be IN you!
So that’s what paul means when he says the
Christ that’s IN YOU – Christ in you, the hope of glory
Cos that bit of string starts at Adam and goes on for eternity. Have that string in you and you’re joined to eternity. If I pull this string that’s the pull of eternity.
Also in him the fullness of God was pleased to dwell. So if that the metaphor that string represents is Jesus, and that string is in you then God is in you, eternity is in you.
Paul uses the term “in Christ” in many ways Union, participation, identification and incorporation.
I think we can see many of those themes in today’s reading.
Also the other imperfection of today’s metaphor is that the string isn’t a living, sentient thing.
Christ of course IS. He is a LIVING LOVING GOD in all things and like that string through him all things bind together. He is the string that makes creation whole.
Also when we feel pain, when we suffer he suffers. People sometimes ask where is God, in suffering?
He’s in that string? He’s in us, he suffers with us because ha cannot suffer, he HAS to suffer with us as he is IN us. He takes that pain, that suffering, that sin and absorbs it into the string that binds us called Christ.
Also, Christ is the cure for loneliness because we THINK we are separate human beings. But I want you to TUG that string a bit.
When you tug it, the person next to you feels it, because the same thing IN you, the Christ IN you is in the next person, so the interplay the action, the reaction is shared by others.
Christ resolves the incognito of the other, we are ONE with every single human being here today that lives and will ever live. Our lives are ripples, everything we do ripples along eternity , felt by those around us.
We truly never suffer along, because the suffering lord suffers with us because he is IN us.
He created us, planned us; there is NO break in that string, he knew your place in the string that binds creation before you were born.
Because he present tense IS simultaneously in every person that ever lived, and ever will live he knows every person you knew, know and will every know right now simultaneously. Because the string is unbroken through every single person ever. He knows them present tense.
This string that binds us absorbs our sin, our hate, our anger and shares love. Makes us right as me move along our place in the story towards the eternity he has prepared for us and knows already.
This string that binds us to eternity knows it and is in us, we know eternity and we feel its pull.
As it says in our reading today, the Christ in you is the hope of glory, attaching you to eternity, presenting you to god mature in christ
Lastly to tie the Martha and mary reading,
I think we imagine ourselves as either Martha or marys, too busy to really be with Jesus. Or happy to sit and listen to him. The active or the contemplative. Truth is we are all mixes of both. Sometimes we bustle about, sometimes we contemplate, as the rhythm of life slows down and speeds up.
Also we look that this story an almost historic, a thing of the past a bible story.
We cant see Jesus like martha or mary, so it’s a nice metaphor but they had Jesus in the room?
I want you to do a very unbritish thing.
Take a real look at the person next to you, look at them holding that string, That string that represents Jesus. Know that string is in them. In every person you meet, will ever meet has ever met, That string created, planned and loves them. And he did the same for you.
so when we contemplate our fellow man we contemplate the Jesus in them.
when we love our fellow man, the Jesus in us that loves us, loves them too,
we can join in that story too real-time. The Jesus that was present in the Martha and mary story is present here today and goes on like a continuous thread through all creation
Let us pray.
Lord help us to know you at all times in everything we do.
We know that you bind us together and are in all your creation, that as it was in the beginning , is now and will be forever .
You Our lord are present, When we love you, we love all your creation because your love is in all creation for all time. Help us to to take time to notice you in everyone we meet and love them as we love you. In Jesus name Amen