Sermon for June 6, 2021 Anniversary “We are Family”
The end of the Gospel reading today is the teaching about family and who is family. On the way to that end, Jesus encounters all sorts of people and situations and each moment leads to the answer of the question; who is family.
So what does Jesus do? Well along the way to church he heals the lame, cures the blind, picks wheat from a field, comforts a mother grieving her child, eats with sinners. For that the leaders accused him of all manner of sin.
On the way home Jesus healed a lame one, told stories that offered a twist on well-known stories, played with children and fed thousands. And when he arrived home a paralytic was lowered through the roof and Jesus healed him. And the leaders called him a heretic and disturber of the peace.
Jesus lived the teaching: to love one another. And in the end that was just too much for the leaders and they sought to silence this rebel.
Today we celebrate anniversaries; of St. Mark’s and the United Church. I am convinced that it matters what we do on the way home. Worship is the time to hear the teachings of Jesus, to share stories of what happed on the way home and to encourage one another. We live in an age that fears the teaching of truth…and we are told to be quiet, to do our ‘thing’ on Sunday morning but don’t let it past the walls and doors of the building.
We have not always called this building home. Our ancestors started at homes and then in a barn, then a church building on Church Ave. that burned down… twice and then in 1960 moved into this home. Even with all the events for church and community, the reminder for us from Jesus is; what happens when we are not here is important, what happens when we are not here is our ministry. And just so you know, people will get upset, they always have and always will. And they will convince us that the truth of Jesus is fake news.
The UCC is celebrating 96 years and our work is uniquely Canadian and global. We have not always got things right and we do our best to make amends. But we do plenty right and in many ways leading the way in arriving at a place where we can truly love one another. The United church and for that matter all churches are reminded that our work happens between worship. There will be attempts to silence our witness and work.
On the Sunday after crucifixion the women trudged to do their work of preparing Jesus body for burial. Surprise…Jesus is not here…resurrection happens…go tell the family.
When we are wearied by the drone of tasks and the lassitude of living the life of a disciple…surprise…resurrection happens…continue telling the family.
For this day and everyday…we are all family.