Here are the sermon notes for today's sermon - given without a full script this week!
1 John 3: 1-3
Matthew 10: 26-33
St John – Jesus beloved – wrote a gospel; Revelation & three love letters
His gospel is distinctly different from the other three for its focus is on the timeless relationship between God and humanity
His epistles read like love letters
They describe the love affair between God and humanity
The limitless generosity of God to his beloved people
First verse of today’s epistle: 3 See how much the Father has loved us! His love is so great that we are called God's children!
This is directed at everyone who ever read his letter... it was written for future generations
It was written for us
When the world is falling apart
When we are beset by uncertainty and doubt
When the future seems vague or insecure
We have that knowledge; that promise – God loves us – each and every one.
This gives us the reassurance to be able to read these difficult words recorded in St Matthew’s gospel: words that describe hardship, and persecutions and the threat of rejection too – not easy listening...
Again, as is so often the case when Jesus is introducing hard teaching – he begins “Do not be afraid...”
Go – shout it from the rooftops
You can do it!
Be brave – you’re so much more valuable than the sparrows – and God knows each and every one of them.
So what is it we are to shout out?
We are God’s Children
Those who declare publically that they belong to God
So – yes we are Christians
Yes, we love God
Yes – God loves us
Now not all the world thinks this is a universally Good Thing
The media likes to ask questions that make us look silly; look blinkered
Science wants answers for everything
Science wants God in a Petri-dish – explained, defined, dissected; broken down into component parts
So – when we stand by our faith; our beliefs; our imperfect understanding
The world may reject or ridicule us
And so may friends, colleagues, family even...
Jesus asserts: “Those who declare publicly that they belong to me, I will do the same for them before my Father in heaven”
That’s a promise to hold on to....