Reverend Rob Lamerton
1 August 2004, Pentecost 9
The Gospel about a man with possessions, but no knowledge of god.
The illustration on the pew sheet is about how not to live, not about how to live! Just remember that!
[Something I always meant to tell my children and keep on forgetting is that it is not a sin to be rich! (it's what you do with it that is important!)… They don't seem to have learnt this truth though, and they keep me poor!…]
the first reading from Hosea is about God's restoration.
God's heart breaks with love for his people.
The Church is the community of people who symbolizes the redeemed community in the world.—the psalm gives an example of what the world is to be like!
But have we symbolized this community???
As I look back over 2,000 years of church history I see that the church has
Oppressed the Jews
Had wars with Muslims—the crusades
Within the church we have had:
Persecution of witches…
More recently, the church has set itself up as judge and jury but has not found it within itself to be a … healing community
Brother Cadfael novels: the monastery within the walls of the castle, a centre of healing… a quiet, healing place…
Child Protection (the workshop on August 28th)
We need to be involved
But there is the other side. Man arrested on paedophilia charges, respected member of the Anglican Church… those who needed to know did know, but when it all blew up, the great angst within the parish.
Those who were angry at the church,
Those who were in disbelief, he couldn't have done this…
Those whose task it was to walk the tightrope with him.
knowing his failings
knowing their own brokenness
knowing God's grace to heal.
Difficulty in working out who needs to know, how long do we wait to tell more people, is there a right time to tell??
The world/the media divides into good and bad…
And wants to exclude/destroy the bad…
(I believe the man himself has said that the media won't be happy until I go away and kill myself!)
But the church has to say:
God's grace is given to a broken and unfaithful people. How can we deny that grace to other broken and unfaithful people?
(The church should be filled with broken people who are at the same time those who are redeemed!)
And at the same time we have to work our butts off to try and stop people from becoming broken, hurt and unfaithful…
It is important that everyone who has any ministry with children does the workshop. In a small congregation like ours with numerous children, but no organised ministries, that means all of us!
In the Peace, we will hold hands around the church, and maybe help each other up as we stand…