“Jesus is not ashamed to call them his family” – that’s people; that’s you and me. And that was the verse that inspired my choice of reading this week.
Two months ago, when we held the Civic Week service here I spoke about us all being in this together; and in fact that had been the sermon title again until I looked back and had second thoughts!
Today is the other village event of the summer – Community Day; a much newer event than Civic Week, but with a similar aim – to bring people together.
There will be stalls from many of the village groups – each showcasing, perhaps raising funds, definitely sharing information and hopefully generating a feeling of family. Focusing on the things which unite us and make us part of our community.
All through the bible there are examples of families working together; and, what happens when they do not work together, but instead fall out, bicker and turn against each other.
Although things may go terribly wrong for a while, God still finds ways to help them, move them and bring them to a better place.
The writer of Hebrews was trying to explain to the Hebrew people what Jesus did, and why. The Hebrews of course are the Jews, the Chosen People – the ones who had rejected Jesus as Messiah because of their own convictions of what a Messiah should look and behave like. Thus, here we are at the beginning of the letter with the author spelling it out:
Humans: given an amazing opportunity through Jesus – who became a little lower than angels, in order to fulfil God’s plan.
That plan was to bring all the children: all humanity to glory; to salvation. And because he does that, he is not ashamed to call them family.
What a gift!!!
We are God’s family through Jesus death and resurrection.
We can do this simply because he came and lived and was one of us. He became human in every way – he was tempted, he suffered, he laughed and cried – he experienced life in every way. And because of that he was able to break the power that sin has over all humanity – because of that we believe that death is not the end; death is only a new beginning.
That promise; that gift of life is open to all God’s People.
Who are All God’s People?
Well, everyone. Every. Single. Person.
Everyone has the same opportunity to hear that message; to be told who Jesus was and what he did, and make their own choices.
They can choose to believe or they can choose to turn their backs.
What do we do then?
How can we respond to this?
Actually I think it’s very simple; not everyone is called to preach; not everyone is called to be a missionary or serve the church in formal ways. But from the moment we invite Jesus into our lives and choose to follow him we are called to share that.
Tell people you go to church
Tell people why, how it helps you, what it means to you. In simple terms – share the Good News!
God’s family is all God’s people
All God’s people are welcome in God’s house
All God’s people are all of humanity – and each needs to have that chance, that same opportunity that we have had – to hear the promise: Jesus is not ashamed to call you family; and Jesus is here to help us – his teaching tells us to love – love each other; love ourselves; love God
And, as I have said before (and will no doubt say again)
If we can each do that – what a wonderful world we would have