Christ The Servant Church
homily february 2017
Homily for february 12, 2017
by Rev. Nancy Coyle
Readings – Sirach 15:15-20, Psalm 119, 1 Corinthians 2:6-10,
Jesus speaks to us in the gospel today about how we need to live in the world. The rules are simple – we must live by love. Living by love is living by the way of God. The choice is clear – we can live by the world’s ways or we can live by God’s ways. We hear in the first reading that we can choose to be burned or we can choose the living waters. We hear over and over again in Scripture that God’s ways are not our ways. But where does that leave us? We are part of this world and it is not always a pretty one. I don’t have to tell you of the problems and atrocities of this world. We read about it and hear it every day in the news. It can be overwhelming.
But then Jesus calls. He calls us to be something other than the hatred, violence and oppression of this world. He calls us to react to this world only in love and to be a shining beacon of light for the rest of the world. Jesus tells us that all our actions, all our thoughts and words, all our relationships must be lived out of love. Hate is not part of the equation. Any thought, word or action that does not demonstrate love is not part of God’s plan. Jesus asks us to live a different life from the ways of the world; a life that if lived according to God’s ways can transform us and the world around us.
How can we accomplish this? How can we reveal to others the light and love of God? Lawrence reminds us every month to observe “Kindness Week” and share a little extra kindness to our brothers and sisters. It is a wonderful way of shining light in this world and giving love. But kindness is more than a gesture, it is also an attitude. In all our encounters even when we disagree, we need to approach one another with love and mutual respect. That is kindness and that is essential to following Jesus’ teaching. Everyone we meet should be able to see the light of Jesus in us and be allowed to share in that love.
That can be easier said than done! When we encounter hatred and negativity in the world, it can consume us and we forget Jesus’ message of love. That is where our faith comes in. We turn to our God of love in prayer, communion, worship, fellowship so that no matter what the world throws at us, we remain rooted in this love and can withstand any opposition.
We are not separate from this world and it is a beautiful world. God has created us to be in this world and to be part of His creation to experience and enjoy it fully. It is our reaction to this creation that matters. In our Advent Liturgy we used the analogy of the great significance of a single drop of water in a pool and how it transforms the water around it.
“A drop of water, insignificant in isolation, when dropped in a pool the ripples move out into infinity. The water is changed by one drop of water. A drop is falling into the pool of our spirit. The water begins to ripple … Creator God, as we consider the magnitude of a drop of water to touch and change the pool, may we feel the power of Your touch in our lives, the potential for our lives to touch others. All creation is Your handiwork; Your touch gives life to all that is. You who shape and form us by the breath of Your Spirit and the touch of Your Grace. You alone are able to call forth from the depths of our being the beauty of Your Spirit in us. May we surrender more deeply to Your loving touch. May You fashion and form Your heart’s desire in us.”
As we speak this prayer in our hearts and contemplate the effects of a single drop of water, may each and every one of us become co-creators in the transformation of the world by revealing God’s love. Amen.