Our primary response as creatures towards God is gratitude. Both Naaman and the Leper who returned to give thanks are models from scripture on the primacy of gratitude and being truly thankful. Gratitude puts the whole of our lives into perspective. If you are unhappy then you are focusing upon what you do not have. Gratitude informs your thinking. As Christians, we are informed by scripture, and the primary response as Christians is gratitude to God for all that is. The promise of the New Covenant is deep inner peace. It is not that we won’t experience suffering and loss but that in our deepest self we are rooted upon a firm foundation.
The phrase that struck me most in the readings today is from the epistle ‘there is no chaining the Word of God.’ Or ‘the Word of God cannot be changed.’
God’s word like the sower going out to sow, is spread continually throughout the ages, just because it does not root, because it does not find fertile soil, does not mean that God’s Word is not alive. God’s Word is a living Word and rests where it finds fertile soil.
There is a quote at the beginning and the end of the film Gandhi: ‘when I despair I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won; there have been murderers and tyrants and for a time they may seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it always.
The Word of God cannot be chained; popular culture, in every generation, works to reduce people to a common denominator. In our time we are consumers. The strength of economy is based upon consumer spending. Those who spend belong; those who can’t or won’t don’t belong. Have you ever heard the phrase ‘what do you give to someone who has everything?’
How hard it is to be continually grateful when you have everything.
The Word of God cannot be chained; after gratitude the next primary response as creatures towards God is simplicity. To adopt and own the principle, ‘live simply so that others may simply live.’
I want to conclude with the quote in the pew sheet.
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