Sermon for 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

Sermon for Sunday November 8th, 2015
32nd in Ordinary Time – Year B

From Temple to Church – Discerning the Body
(Or ‘We’re all in this together . . .’ or are we??)


Resource sharing
Tikanga Maori – Tikanga Pakeha – Treaty of Waitangi
[Pasifika???? Anybody????]
Scratching their heads
that’s not the problem –

Down a level – the Dioceses . . .
Wellington, Christchurch, Auckland . . .
Not sharing – well if the Dioceses aren’t sharing . . .

that’s not the problem

Down a level – Parishes within a Diocese
Not sharing – hanging on to their pots . . .
Not sharing – well if the parishes aren’t sharing . . .

that’s not the problem

Down a level . . .

A question I ask when I consider my recommendation for ordination is
Is this person known in their parish for opening their home
for it being a place where the church meets and eats together??

If not, then they do not discern the One Body of Christ so how can they presume to discern that body in the Eucharist – there is no way they should be stood behind the table of the LORD – they haven’t even begun the journey of this Sharing Life in Christ

Christianity 101 – sharing – not counting anything our own
If we do not share all we have with one another
Then we nullify the table of the LORD

Jesus comes to the Temple
He sees the wealthy – those totally secure in their existence
He sees the widow – barely surviving
He sees that the people of God are not sharing the Life He offers which the Temple signifies

The Temple – rather than the dwelling place of the Living God has become a human religious enterprise
Everyone told to do their bit ‘to keep it going’ – and the poor as always giving the most

And Jesus sees . . .
He sees rich people who don’t see the widow in their midst – who don’t discern the body
They’re not feeding her and sharing in Life with her

TM and TPk don’t see TP
AKL and WGT and CHC don’t see Waiapu
Parishes don’t see the their brothers and sisters
but the problem is in the root of it
The people of God are blind – they don’t see the widow

So they are deaf – they do not hear the command of the LORD – there shall be no poor amongst you . . . In the Christendom church it has become the norm –  The Eucharist is ‘the time when the Kingdom of God is revealed for the Rich and the poor – even the homeless are gathered together at the table of the LORD.’
NO!!!! That is the table of demons – why do the rich not welcome the poor to share in their homes and their lives??

And they are lame – not walking in the light of the LORD – and wondering why no one is following them

They are spiritually DEAD – playing religious games . . .
Devouring the houses of widows – money is a zero sum game – all riches come from the poor – enjoying the acclaim of others in fine clothes –
not sharing their goods with one another
They are denying their identity as the One people of God

For the people of God have ONE Life
not a religious life and another one
not a Temple life and another
Not a church life and another
Life Together – sharing all we have with one another

One Life – the Life of the Triune God
A Life given to the Body and Shared
Jesus sees
They are playing religious games
Their religion is a sham
Their teachers of the law like the acclaim
We might say
They preside at the Table of the LORD but Their table is not open to others
Their home is their castle
Their condemnation is deserved

I once heard a story which I believe to be true
He lived in a small house, with only basic furniture
and little more than the clothes he stood up in
A man was CEO of a large utility in the UK
And a follower of Jesus
He shared what he had with the poor
He had heard the gospel of Jesus
He was that what we might call unique being, a rich man who heard the gospel and followed Jesus

Just One Man

One Body

Jesus Sees the religious games

And next week we shall hear his response – remember when you hear the story of the destruction of the Temple – it is the End for Religious game playing – and it was under God’s Curse. It is the end for Church where people refuse to live in the abundance of God sharing with one another

Jesus says – Destroy this Temple and I will rebuild it
Jesus destroys religious games
And that judgement is being worked out amongst the Anglican churches in ANZ

For if we do not share all we have – we have no gospel – for the Gospel is the Life of Jesus amongst His people – the Kingdom is amongst you

Not to have all things in common is to deny the Gospel
It is to deny Christ

When we pray the LORD’s prayer – we are bold enough to say – Forgive us as we have forgiven. ‘We have forgiven others – get in on the Act, G_d!’

So too, we can only receive the Life of Christ shared with us in the Eucharist – the Life God desires beyond anything to share with us – if we are sharing all WE have with others
We come to the table saying ‘We have shared your Life amongst us – Share your life with us . . .’
Otherwise it really is just bread and wine – it is a sham

The age of going to church is over
God in his merciful judgement is bringing the Temples down
The age of being the church is ever new
The Gift of Eternal Life

God gave his very Life for us
If we are his children we will share all we have with others
Then the Table of the LORD becomes a place of blessing and healing

The Door is open
All that stands between us and life is our hearts

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