The introduction to the Season of All Saints to Advent begins with the following reminder … no Christian is solitary. Through Baptism we become members one of another in Christ, members of a company of Saints whose mutual belonging transcends death. Charles Wesley wrote .. ‘One family we dwell in Him; One Church above, beneath; Though now divided by the stream, the narrow stream of death.’ At All Saints and All Souls we celebrate the eternal company of the Church which draws us back into this eternal belonging we have in God.
(Psalm 112 and John 12 v 23-36)
At Harvest it is our duty to look to creation to help us understand something of the message our Creator sends to us for our lives. And I wanted to reflect for a moment or two this morning on the lesson of the Yellow Birch tree of North Eastern America which offers us an example of what both our Psalm and the Gospel reading might teach us about the salvation of God in difficult times and seasons of our lives. Because the Yellow Birch flourishes in disturbed, barren environments which I think is what the Christian is to expect in their life of faith according to the Psalmist and Jesus.
I was talking to a friend recently who was advocating the benefits of those meal boxes you can now have delivered to your house with all the ingredients for a particular meal inside and with the recipe and cooking instructions for that said meal. It sounds so convenient doesn’t it. Rather than have to think about what to cook for the evening meal you pull a box out of the fridge or the freezer and simply follow the instructions to provide a healthy and nutritious meal. All the good stuff and none of the hassle!
When I was beginning to think about this Harvest sermon I began a file on my computer and mistakenly called it Harvest 3018 not 2018 … and when I noticed it got me wondering what will Harvest 3018 look like I wonder?? We might think the whole idea of Harvest Festival has changed over the last 50 or 100 years but just allow yourself to imagine what the next 1000 years will bring with it??
The readings today remind us of the importance of what we say … it is an important theme of Christian living. Again and again in the Bible we are reminded that the tongue is the most powerful of all the members of the body.
In the book of James we have a reminder of how, small though it is, the tongue can determine the direction of our lives … like a rudder in the sea of our lives the power of words is immense. There is a song in the charts at the moment which I think is probably built on the words of James 2000 years ago because its chorus is .. Continue reading “Sticks & Stones”