I missed most of the Sunday morning Eucharist at Synod this morning as I celebrated the 8:00 service in my on parish church with the faithful few who braved the snow to gather this morning. But, I received great notes from my scribe at the Synod service so here is an account of what was apparently a wonderful sermon.
Bill Cliff 15 January 2012 Sermon Opening Eucharist Synod of the Diocese of BC 8:30 a.m.
We hear the biblical texts so much that we don’t hear them.
Old folks don’t understand how young people hear and understand the text.
The Gospels are portraits of the impression the subjects left on the artists who recorded them. The key is to boil down to who Jesus is in each text.
Matthew – Jesus is the fulfillment of the law over and over, greater than all before.
Mark – Jesus is God because of who opposes him – resistance – demons
Luke – educated gospel, elevated langauge. Jesus is God because of who he includes.
John – the theologian – the heavenly Gospel. Jesus is God just because he is! Soverign God who chooses to lay down his life, chooses his disciples.
Today the sovereignty of God is on full display – you have been called to holiness, called out to a new life.
Strange for Anglicans – we haven’t preached against a sin we haven’t experienced.
We are not called to perfection but to completeness.
To be a disciple is to abide with the Master – Andrew and Simon. See St. Philip – come follow me. Philip is always finding people. To Nathanael Jesus says come and see, you will find a rootedness.
When called to holiness it is an invitation to see Christ as a mirror and see who you are called to be, as Christ sees you. This truth resonates deeply in our being.
Nathanael – when did you see me? – when you hear truth about yourself you are beginning to see yourself as you are seen by Jesus.
Moment of truth in all believers when they are called out. Jesus is not interested in rescuscitation but in resurrected life, not what you were but what you are created to BE.
All of the structures that oppress and dominate must fall – We are called out by who we are in Christ to be prophets.
When you have been called out you see who you are, what you are part of. You don’t get to choose.
Holiness – sacrifice. In following Jesus the diocese, the church, give up some things… but you will receive more, you will be more.
That is what it is to be called out – ecclesia, ek=out, kaleo=called
This episode of the life of the diocese is not the end; it is part of the long arc of spiritual history from Israel through Jesus and now to us. The Lord of time has in his hand our suffering.
Church: What are we saved from and what are we saved for??? – You are saved from sin and death for the life of the world.
You are called to be transformed – Get out of the tomb and walk in the garden!
Abide with the Master. You are called out to be God’s stewards of justice, God’s justice and God’s holiness on these islands.