Sermon thoughts for everyday discipleship
Sunday 10th November 2013
2 Thessalonians 2:1-5,16-end and John 14:15-27
There is a common phrase that says "if you forget your history you are doomed to repeat it", well it seems even in our 20th and 21st Century of Acts of Remembrance year upon year, we seem to be as a world suffering from collective amnesia. Perhaps too as we gather for our nations act of remembrance – we might be open to remember how forgetful we may be at times:
- we forget that war on its own never solved problems,
- we forget that war affects more non-combatants than those who fight.
- we forget that war is horror
- and yet simply remembering this does not seem to change our present actions or future responses.
Today our passages from scripture call us to be remembered, not as some past dream or echo of another time, but to be spiritually, socially, mentally, relationally, re-membered – to be re-made a different way. For in the act of coming together in bread and wine, in seeking Jesus, in committing ourselves to his life, remembering who he is so that we might know who we are – to be re-membered into his glorious Body, we can begin to see the real alternative that Jesus’ own life and teaching spoke of, become a reality.
“My Peace I leave you with you – my peace I give to you”
What sort of peace is that? Of course its much more than an inner sense if quiet in the midst of turmoil around us;it is much more than simply an absence of war
Shalom is one the richest concepts in the Hebrew language – giving expression to the yearning for ultimate totality and wholeness of self, with others, and creation and with God. That he is at the heart of what it truly means to be human.
Jesus came to speak of and show an alternative way of life. The world’s way of peace depends on its readiness to use violence. This gift of peace that Jesus offers, himself facing violence and death so that we might live another way: “My peace I leave with you – this is the way you should live.”
Choosing peace does not mean ignoring enemies or evil or sweeping disagreements under the carpet – if we look at Jesus model of peace, he engaged with his enemies, and encouraged dissent so that differences can be reconciled.
Jesus' peace is not one that forgets and repeats the same old mistakes – but one that remakes and models the new.
John is the Vicar of St Paul’s, Tupsley and St Andrews, Hampton Bishop in Hereford Diocese. He’s also currently doing Doctoral Studies at Kings College London.