Sermon – 2 April 2017 (Passion Sunday)
WORK (New Church Logo sermon series: II)
John 11:1-45, Jesus and Lazarus
Our new church logo. One amongst many ways of looking into it, and seeing interesting and helpful things come out of it… Last week, love. A special and everyday gift.
This week, work. Mid-green. Monday morning, Friday afternoon and all the other times you have to work. Whether you commute. Volunteer. Work at home. Or go to school.
A special and everyday necessary thing. Ever since, in our story of Creation, Adam and Eve chose badly and had to leave the wonderful Garden of Eden.
Jesus is the one who invites us home to God.
Jesus, ‘the resurrection and the life’, who unbinds us and gives us new freedom, like Lazarus. WE ALL NEED THIS. WE NEED GOD.
But… GOD ALSO NEEDS US.
Here’s the story of the pompous parson leaning over the gate with the farmer, viewing a fine crop of barley.
‘It is wonderful’, said the parson, ‘what can be done when you and God get together.’
‘Aye’, said the farmer, ‘but you should have seen this field last year when God had it all to Himself.’
GOD NEEDS US.
As St Teresa of Avila put it, (nearly 500 years ago):
Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
And for each one of us, our work, our vocation, our different callings at are not just to ‘special’ jobs or special voluntary work, but all our work, whatever it is. Christ needs people in every different place in the world, wherever your own special gifts meet the world’s need.
Nor is work meant to consume all our lives. But following Jesus – whatever our work is, however our days and weeks are filled at this point in our lives – following Jesus is not just something nice to do before lunch on a Sunday.
As Albert Einstein wrote in his later years:
‘The most important motive for work in the school and in life is the pleasure of work, pleasure in its results and the knowledge of the value of the result to the community.’
Being Christians makes a difference to how we find out what our work is, and why we do it, whatever it is. Not for our own glory; but for the joy of sharing in the work of God’s kingdom coming on earth as it is in heaven, and making some difference to others through it.
God bless us all in our work, whatever it is, this week. Amen.
James Percival, Team Rector