Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Year B Easter Sunday - Text Mark 16:1-18 - Do not fear

Do you know what the 10 greatest fears are:
I was rather surprised to see that fear of spiders was so low down the list at number 9.
But I was even more surprised to see that death is actually number 6 in the list of fears.
To think that people are more afraid to fly, or speak in public than dying is really interesting.
Perhaps we need to make a distinction between death and dying.
As a living human being I am afraid of dying.
I don’t do things that are risky to my life.
I don’t run across the street with busy traffic.
I take care when I’m driving so as not to have an accident.
I avoid things that could put my life in danger.
I try to live a healthy life.
But as a Christian I’m not afraid of death.
As a Christian, because of Jesus rising from the dead on the first Easter morning I know that I too, when I die, will rise to eternal life.
And that’s what the Christian faith is all about.
The Christian faith is not an organisation created to maintain moral behaviour.
It’s not an organisation created to provide welfare and charity to the poor and needy.
It’s not an institution created to perform baptisms, marriages and funerals.
While the church may perform some of these functions, the church has one mission and one mission only.
To proclaim the Good News of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead that assures people that death is not the end of life but beginning of new life in heaven with God.
And that assurance can only come because Jesus died on Good Friday to pay for our sins that caused our death but then rose from the grave to defeat death and live in heaven.
And that’s why I don’t fear death because I know with certainty that I will rise from the dead to new life.
And not just any life – eternal life – living forever.
Easter Sunday achieves what nothing else in the world can.
Medicine has increased its knowledge amazingly that it is finding cures for things that used to be incurable giving hope where there was no hope at all.
Health consciousness and advances in hygiene has seen the average age reach much larger numbers.
Aged Care has seen people cared for enabling them to live longer.
Palliative care has enabled people to live longer and in more comfort.
But despite all these advances, death is still the inevitable end for all people.
But Jesus too makes a distinction between earthly death and Christian death.
When Mary and Martha grieve the death of their brother Lazarus he brings them comfort by his resurrection from death, even though it hasn’t happened yet.
He says: “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.
Likewise in John 3:16 Jesus doesn’t say that we will not die but he says that death is not the end but the beginning of new life – eternal life.
He says: whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Jesus makes a distinction between death, which we all will face, and perishing, where there is nothing after death.
Likewise in the Book of Hebrews it makes that same claim:
It says: people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment. So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
Easter Sunday, Resurrection Sunday is the reason we call ourselves Christian.
The word “Christian” has so much baggage that doesn’t belong.
When you say that you are a Christian to someone, all sorts of thoughts go through a person’s head.
But what makes us Christian is that we believe that Jesus died for our sins and he was raised to give us assurance that when we die we too will rise to live in heaven.
That is the Good News we have been sent to proclaim – that is the only News we have been sent to proclaim.
And Jesus says: this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
So Jesus is not going to return until everyone has had an opportunity to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ.
In a world that is inundated with bad news wherever we look – in sport, in politics, in world events – how refreshing to be reminded again of the Good News of Jesus resurrection to give us eternal life in heaven.
In a world that is so divided by anger, crime, war, terrorism, racism and sexism – and whatever other ISM you can think of, how glorious to hear again the love of God that rejects all division as Jesus declared that God loved the world so much that he sent his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him shall not perish but receive eternal life.
We live in a world where fear strikes so often.
We fear when the next war will break out.
We fear when the next terrorist attack will happen.
We fear if our house will be the next home invasion.
But the one fear that we do not have, because of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, is the fear of death.
Because just as God raised Jesus from the dead so too he will raise you from the dead to live a new life in heaven.
May God bless you as you celebrate again today the Good News of our Saviours resurrection and take the Gospel message to the world that Christ is Risen – he has risen indeed.

Year B - Easter Sunday Dawn Service - Text John 20:1-18 - Our lives rebooted

Easter Sunday Dawn Service
Text: John 20:1-18 Our Lives Rebooted

Every now and then as I’m working on my computer it begins to slow down and get really sluggish.
Things take longer to process – programs take longer to open.
And I realise that what I need to do is turn it off and turn it back on again to refresh it.
Sometimes our lives are a little like that.
We get rundown with all the negativity in the world and sometimes we wonder what the point of it all is.
And then comes along Easter Sunday.
The day when God restarts our lives again.
The day when God reboots our lives that have become so defragmented with worry, work, conflict, and anything else that pulls us in every direction.
God again comes into our lives to bring us back into his love and care by reminding us that Jesus has defeated all the powers of darkness that wage their war against us.
Without Jesus and his resurrection we would descend further and further into the depths of darkness.
On the day of Jesus’ resurrection Mary went to the tomb while it was still dark.
It was dark both physically because the sun had not yet risen to announce the new day.
But it was also dark symbolically as Mary goes to the tomb with a heavy heart because of grief.
Jesus was supposed to be the one who would make things different in the world and in her life but he went the way of all people and worse.
Not only did he die but he died the most horrific and shameful death.
Humiliated in front of family, friends and followers.
To add to her disappointment she discovers that Jesus’ body is missing.
Suspecting the worse, she believes she is the victim of heartless thieves:
They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”
And like so many people who go through difficult times Mary can’t find Jesus amongst her problems.
Even though he is there and she is speaking with him she doesn’t experience his presence in her time of crisis because she is so focused on his death.
And how often don’t we feel that way?
Even though Jesus has promised to be with us always, sometimes he seems to be rather absent when we need him.
And then, just when Mary feels as if she has hit rock bottom Jesus reaches out to her and calls her name.
And immediately she is revived in her faith.
So too we sometimes walk through life aimlessly not knowing where to turn or to whom we should talk.
It really does at times feel like we’re walking through the valley of the shadow of death.
And then Jesus reaches out to us and reminds us that in our Baptism we were called by name and promised I am with you always.
Jesus knows the feeling of abandonment from when he cried out from the cross – My God, my God, why have you abandoned me.
We know that God the Father didn’t abandon his son.
Jesus was experiencing the full weight of our sin and what it does to our relationship with God.
And God doesn’t abandon us either but gives us his Son, our great high priest who is able to empathise with our weakness because he too experienced them.
But even more than empathise with us Jesus gives us the way out and leads us to our heavenly Father as he sits at the right hand of his Father interceding for us as does the Holy Spirit who intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
And that’s why Jesus says to Mary - “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father.
And then notice the change that will come through Jesus’ ascension to heaven.
No longer will God be “the” Father but Jesus says: Go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
By his death and resurrection Jesus has now completed the reconciliation between us and God.
A reconciliation that was needed when our sin drove a wedge into that relationship.
The resurrection affirms for us that “it is finished”
The virus of sin has been cleansed - our lives have been rebooted – upgraded – a new “father board” or whatever other computer terminology you want to use.
And now, like Mary, we are sent to tell the world what Jesus has done for us and for all people.
With great excitement Mary rushed to tell the others “I have seen the Lord!”
Let us too, with great excitement rush to tell others “I have seen the Lord” and that Christ is risen – he is risen indeed.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Year B 2018 - Good Friday - It is finished

Sermon 30th March 2018

We wonder why Jesus ministry had to end this way.
Why was it necessary for Jesus to die?
They are very reasonable questions, but they are not questions that we would ask if we truly understand what Jesus promised.
Take St Peter for example.
Jesus prophesied that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.
Peter objected and said – Never Lord – this will never happen to you.
But did Peter hear Jesus properly.
It is very likely that Peter didn’t hear fully what Jesus said.
It is likely that once he heard Jesus say that he must be killed that he stopped paying attention.
And that’s what death does.
When we hear about death, especially about the death of someone we love it can also make us wonder why.
Why does life end?
Why is it necessary to die?
But Peter needed to listen to Jesus and the totality of what he said as he said that after he was killed, on the third day he would be raised to life.
But even as Christians we don’t always think of that when we are confronted with death.
We don’t automatically think of eternal life when someone we love dies.
We are usually so grief stricken that we cannot see past the reality of death.
Even St Paul acknowledges that when he speaks of Christ’s victory over death.
He says: “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Whereas death no longer has victory because of Jesus’ death and resurrection it certainly still carries its sting.
And that sting is evident every time we sit at the bedside of a loved one – as we watch the coffin lowered into the grave, as we visit the gravesite of our loved ones – the sting of grief in death remains.
But Paul also reminds us that we grieve but not as those who have no hope.
We have hope because we know that the grave will not hold Jesus for long.
We know that on the third day that he will rise.
But those 3 days are so long when it’s someone we love.
Even though we know that we will be reunited with all our loved ones as we await the resurrection it is so hard because the grief is so deep.
Asking “why” about death or questioning God’s love because of death won’t remove the sting of death from our experience.
Our loved ones will continue to face the reality of death and we shall continue to face the reality of our own death.
Death is a reality of life.
The only way to truly find comfort in death is to listen carefully to what Jesus said about his own death.
On the third day I will be raised to life.
Without death there can be no resurrection.
Without Jesus’ resurrection we will never see death in any other way than an horrific event.
Even Jesus’ own death is meaningless without that final part that Peter missed – on the third day I will be raised to life.
To outsiders, a battered and broken Jesus who could no longer hold his head up and died in humiliation and defeat could not possibly be anything but a reminder of the pain and finality of death and no hope at all.
But to those who believe into him, the true Son of God has completed his great work of defeating death and he cries out “it is finished”.
 But what is finished?
Death’s victory is finished.
As St Paul says – the message of the cross if foolishness to those who are perishing but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
And the power of God is that just as Jesus has been raised from the dead we too shall be raised to eternal life.
Jesus' announcement, "It is finished" is clear and simple.
No long explanations of how – no detailed sermon of what you have to do.
Just “it is finished”
Jesus has completed his task that God sent him to do.
He came so that you and I can have forgiveness and eternal life.
He came to give us the victory of death – the same victory over death that he achieved.
He came to ensure that we would enter his kingdom of heaven and live forever.
That’s why Jesus had to die because in order to defeat death he had to die and rise from death.
And just as Jesus has risen from the dead, you too shall live a new life when you die.
Thanks be to God who gives us the victory over death. Amen

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Year B Maundy Thursday - Betraying but not excluded

Maundy Thursday
Betrayal seems to be so common place these days in the public sphere.
In politics we have seen Prime Ministers betrayed by their parties ousting them for someone more popular.
In relationships we’ve seen families betrayed such as our former Deputy Prime Minister betraying his wife and family.
In the celebrity world we have seen people in positions of power betray the vulnerable through sexual abuse.
In the church we have seen betrayal of trust in light of the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse.
Have you ever been betrayed by a close friend or family member?
After opening yourself up and becoming vulnerable to another person, has that person betrayed the trust you placed in them.
A betrayal of trust can hurt more than a physical hurt and can take much longer to heal if in fact it can be healed.
When a person you love turns around and hurts you deeply, you probably do what most of us do in that situation -- you look at ways to hurt them back.
Could you, like Jesus, choose to spend your last night alive with that person and share Holy Communion with him?
If you knew it was his betrayal that was going to lead to your death, a death you didn't deserve would you include him together your loved ones for one last meal together.
Would you treat him with all the love and compassion that you showed to all the other guests at your table.
Would you get down on your hands and knees and wash his feet.
Would you break bread with him and offer him the same blessing you give to all the others who have left everything to be with you.
Would you give yourself, your very body and blood, to this one who betrayed you.
That is exactly what Jesus did and continues to do today.
On the night when he was betrayed, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body given for you." In the same way, he took the cup, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, given for you.
He offered the bread, his body, to all of them. -- 1 Corinthians 11:23b-25
Jesus knew of Judas’s betrayal and included him in this most sacred time together.
Judas had gone to the chief priests and asked, "What will you give me if I betray him to you?"
And they paid him off with thirty pieces of silver – that’s all it took to betray his friend.
It's hard to believe that Judas could have turned on Jesus like this and gone through the charade of participating in Jesus' last meal with his disciples.
What's even more amazing is that Jesus himself knew exactly what was going on, and he still gave himself to the one who had been paid to have him arrested and killed.
"Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me," he tells his disciples.
When they want to know who it is, Jesus says, "It's the one to whom I give this piece of bread.
So he gives it to Judas.
Only Judas understood what was really going on at that moment. Jesus said to him, "Do quickly what you are going to do." And Judas got up from the table and left (John 13:21-30).
Why didn’t Jesus dismiss Judas at the beginning of the meal and not until after he had shared such an intimate time with his closest friends?
Isn’t that what we often do at Holy Communion?
People often ask me – would you commune such and such at Communion – or would you commune so and so at communion.
I never want to have in my mind people or certain groups of people that I wouldn’t commune.
Imagine if Jesus was asked – would you commune someone who was going to betray you and have you arrested?
There may be times when a situation arises but Jesus shows that our focus is on how do we include rather than exclude.
I’m sure there are reasons why we too could easily have been excluded from Holy Communion.
If we knew what was going on, we would probably have asked Judas to leave earlier, so he would have been excluded from this loving encounter between Jesus and his followers.
But Jesus intentionally chose to include Judas.
Jesus would also have known how the other disciples would react at his arrest:
They will all fall away from him.
When Jesus is arrested, three times Peter denies even knowing him.
After Jesus is crucified, they all hide out for fear of being recognized as his followers.
Not only did Jesus share his last supper with the one who would betray him, he shared his last supper with all who would desert him and deny him.
And yet, he loved every one of them enough to give them his body and blood.
This same Jesus loves us enough to give us his body and blood, even though he would have more than enough reason to exclude us.
Just as he didn't turn any away at the table on the night when he was betrayed, he doesn't turn any of us away at his table tonight.
St Paul says: Whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be answerable for the body and blood of the Lord. Examine yourselves, and only then eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
How would we feel if the result of that examination was made available for all to see?
Would you be ashamed at what might be revealed for others to see?
Jesus instituted the Sacrament of Holy Communion "on the night when he was betrayed."
It was a meal he shared with those who betrayed him.
From the very beginning, this sacrament was shared with people who were unworthy of the gift.
And that's what makes it such a special sacrament, because it is all about God's grace poured out for the undeserving.
No matter how strong or weak your faith may be, no matter how much you read your Bible or pray, no matter how many commandments you have kept or broken, no matter how well or poorly you've done at following Jesus, no matter who you are or what you've done, Jesus offers you his body and blood.
And the more unworthy you may feel about receiving it, the more it has been given for you because it is given for the forgiveness of sins.
The forgiveness of sins isn't for perfect people.
It's for people like Judas, who betrayed him for thirty pieces of silver.
It's for people like Peter who promised he would never leave Jesus and then turned around and denied even knowing him.
It's for people like the disciples who cowered in fear as soon as Jesus left them.
It’s for you and me.
That's the way this holy meal began.
It's a meal given for the unworthy, where no one is excluded.
It's a meal where all are loved and forgiven.
It's a meal where all are given the gift of Jesus himself, so come for all is made ready. Amen.

Year B - Palm Sunday - Text Mark 11:1-11 - My rights

Sermon 25th March 2018 – Palm Sunday
Text: Mark 11:1-11 – My rights

The greater good is a common expression which indicates that you are doing something that most likely will not benefit you but many people.
Palm Sunday is an example of Jesus choosing the greater good rather than his own good.
On Palm Sunday we celebrate what is called Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem.
But this is the entry that Jesus prophesied about when he said: that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed.
With the crowds shouting their support for him it must have been tempting for Jesus to follow Peter’s prophesy instead when he responded to Jesus - “Never, Lord! This shall never happen to you!”
Jesus could have succumbed to his own good and gone on to be their earthly leader – but for how long?
How long could he have sustained his position as leader before the people chose someone else?
And what about future generations after he died – if he died other than the sacrificial life he chose.
Jesus didn’t succumb to temptation but continued towards Jerusalem and ultimately his death.
Let us not think for a moment that this was an easy decision for Jesus simply because he was the Son of God.
As well as being God Jesus was also human like you and me and agonised over what Jerusalem would mean:
In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus says: My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me.
But Jesus then considered the greater good and said: Yet not what I will, but your will be done.”
Jesus chose the greater good over that of his own good, a lesson that is sorely missing in today’s “me” generation.
So much today is not thought of for the greater good but for my own good.
It’s all about my rights – my opinion – my desires.
And when something violates “my” rights we demand action.
My way – or we threaten to sue looking for compensation.
We choose and keep leaders based on opinion polls rather than how good their policies are.
And the trend these days for Governments once they are elected is not what good they can bring to the people but how we can ensure we are elected next time.
And these days we are not prepared to go through some period of pain for the greater good but want the good only for us.
There is this “demanding my rights” feel about the way many approach life today.
We see it in politics – we see it in the church – we see it on the roads – in schools – in universities – in sport – in our daily routines.
Jesus on the other hand led a humble life.
He had rights that he did not take up.
As Paul said in our 2nd reading - though Jesus was in the form of God, he did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited.
Jesus was truly God but he emptied himself of any right to use it to his advantage.
When we was arrested and Peter wanted to defend Jesus honour, Jesus said – Don’t you think I could call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?
But how would that have served the common good?
Jesus needed to fulfil his prophecy of arrest, suffering and death.
Instead - Jesus humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death-- even death on a cross.
We are called in Paul’s 2nd reading to let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.
What that means is that sometimes we forgo our rights for the greater good.
And that’s okay because you will not miss out.
Instead, Jesus says, a greater reward is reserved when he says - your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
And this becomes the source of contentment for us.
Instead of allowing our anger to govern and our thoughts, words and deeds, we allow the peace of God that goes beyond understanding to watch guard over us.
You only have to look at the anger of people when their rights are violated.
We see people explode with road rage – or standing there at the shop counter demanding their rights – yelling at the person on the end of the phone.
But look at Jesus and how he kept his composure even to the point of death when he cried out to his father – not to avenge his blood but to forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing.
And because of his humility, Paul says, God highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name.
Sometimes the rights of the greater good exceed the individual rights as we see on Palm Sunday when Jesus goes from hero to outcast because he refused to demand his right to Kingship.
True kingship was awaiting him and also you as you claim the crown of glory for yourself.
Your life may not always go according to your expected rights but that is what the cross represents.
It represents forgoing at times our own rights for the greater good.
And the greater good is that all people come to the knowledge of God and be saved.
St Paul talked about that also in First Corinthians when talking about meat sacrificed to idol.
Even though the Christians had every right to do so they had to think of those who didn’t understand that.
He said; Be careful that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak.
Whatever it is that you are doing you have an opportunity to show the grace and love of God to others particularly when you refrain from showing anger and instead showing love.
Instead of chasing worldly success and possessions, we look for ways that we can serve others as Jesus did becoming a servant of all.
It’s a sad quality that is missing in today’s society as people will usually respond by saying “I know my rights”.
God had the right to turn his back on humanity when it disobeyed him but it was while we were yet sinners that Christ died for us.
And this is the mind that we too should have that sometimes in advancing God’s kingdom we forgo our rights for the greater good of sharing the gospel.
But Jesus promises no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.”
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Monday, 12 March 2018

Year B - Fourth Sunday in Lent: Text Ephesians 2:10 0 God's masterpieces

Sermon 11th March 2018 – 4th Sunday in Lent
Text: Ephesians 2:10 – God’s masterpieces.

I asked a year 12 student recently what their plans were for next year when they finish High School.
It was like I had asked them to prove the existence of God or to explain the meaning of life.
They had that look in their eyes that screamed – I have no idea what I’m going to do.
And that can be a daunting situation to face when you don’t know what the future might bring.
It can also be the situation when you lose your job and you have no idea whether or not you’ll get another.
Facing the future with uncertainty can be quite frightening when you don’t know what the future is.
What can also be frightening is when you edge closer to retirement.
Sharon was quite shocked just recently when she realised I’m going to turn 60 next year.
It seems such a large number and so near to retirement age.
I reassured her that I’m not even 59 yet so let’s not panic just yet.
But in reality it is an important transition and one that many of you have made already.
There are so many variables to consider.
Will I have enough to retire on?
What will I do with all that spare time?
And then comes the next transition in life.
Do I stay in my home or move into a retirement village.
Do I try to look after myself or do I move into aged care.
As Christians we also have a transition in regards to how we serve God.
In our younger years we can be quite active in the church.
But as we get older we tire out and look for someone to take over the leadership.
As we retire from active duty in the church we might feel less appreciated.
Or perhaps you are younger but have no spare time.
Or you have spare time but have no idea what God wants you to do.
In our 2nd reading today – St Paul answers all those questions about the future.
Firstly he addresses the future for Christians so we don’t have to worry about our eternal future.
You don’t have to worry whether  you’ve done enough or whether you’ve led a good enough life when it comes to your eternal life.
Paul says: For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God-- not the result of works, so that no one may boast.
And that also mirrors what Jesus said: For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but receive eternal life.
So if you’re worried about eternal life – don’t be.
But Paul also addresses the issue of trying to work out what God wants us to do until then.
Sometimes we can worry ourselves sick trying to find out where we fit in God’s overall plan for the world.
Well, Paul says: we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.
In other versions it says we are God’s handiwork or God’s masterpiece.
We have all been created specially by God.
God doesn’t make junk – God makes masterpieces.
So no matter what you are doing – no matter what you or someone else thinks of you – God is seeing you as one of his grand designs – one of his masterpieces – just like an artist stands back and just stares in amazement at his masterpiece even if others don’t see what he sees.
But it’s that last part that really interests me:
We are created by God to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Did you hear that last bit – Which God prepared in advance for us to do?
How much energy do we expend trying to find out what it is that God is wanting us to do that we don’t realise we are doing what God has planned for us to do.
Whatever you are doing with your life, if you are doing it faithfully then it is a good work for God, even if it is undervalued by society.
Maybe you don’t think or realise that you’re doing exactly what God is wanting you to be doing and therefore you don’t see your place in the tapestry of God’s bigger masterpiece that he is creating.
The Israelites were a classic example of people who couldn’t see past their own personal needs and missed the bigger picture of what God was creating with them.
God was taking them to a new Promised Land, flowing with milk and honey; God was making them into a great nation but they grumble about the conditions they were under.
Sometimes the road we journey is tough so we need to keep our eyes focused on where God is leading us rather than the road we are on full of pot holes and winding roads.
Peter had that trouble too when Jesus said he must take the road of suffering and death but after 3 days rise from the dead.
Peter said – NEVER.
He only focused on the journey and not the destination.
He focused on the journey – the suffering and dying and missed the destination - rising from the dead.
So too were the Israelites:
The people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we detest this miserable food.”
Did you hear the irony there?
They complained that there is no food and then in the same breath said we detest this miserable food.
Which one is it – there is no food or the food is miserable.
Because they didn’t get THEIR way they complained
They missed the fact that God was providing them with everything they needed because the conditions were not quite what they wanted.
Maybe our lives are sometimes not exactly how we would have liked them to pan out.
But we need to remember that we are on a journey.
A journey to our Promised Land and as St Paul says - I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
In other words, I consider that the journey that I am travelling is not worth comparing with the destination of heaven.
Our Lenten journey continues and it will journey through Maundy Thursday – the day Jesus was betrayed.
It will continue through Good Friday when the valley of the shadow of death becomes a reality for Jesus.
But it will end at the destination on Easter Sunday morning when Mary and 2 disciples go looking for the dead Jesus and are stunned to realise that he has risen.
We too need to keep journeying through our Good Fridays – our Valleys of the Shadow of Death and remember that it’s not the journey that is important but the destination of Easter Sunday – resurrection morning..
And we remember that we were dead through our sins along the journey but now at our destination we are made alive together with Christ and that by grace we have been saved.