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Fifth Sunday after Pentecost 9 July 2017 pdf
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Genesis 24: 34-38,42-49,58-67; Ps 45: 10-17; Romans 7: 14-25; Matthew 11: 15-19, 25-30 Vanderbilt

Proper 9A/Ordinary 14A/Pentecost +5 July 9, 2017 Textweek

In Transition into the Kingdom of God

Theme: We are all in transition into the Kingdom of God.

Jesus said, “He who has ears, let him hear”, - this was first verse of the Gospel today if we were to follow the Lectionary! For some reason our reading and most of the commentaries, the gospel starts at v16 and not 15.

Considering this I thought, I considered maybe this was meant it was just for me, maybe God was saying to me, it’s about time You started listening to God!
I like most don’t always listen when God speaks to us.

When God does speak, it’s usually 4 o'clock in the morning. Never an audible sound but just as an insight.

The voice of God is in the past,.. Present with us now… and eternal…
- waiting to empower us, and God is ever patient.

We as Christians are on and ever changing journey or transition into the Kingdom of God.

We need to hear God’s spirit speak to us, … we read God’s word, … our lives, ……wrestle with what is right and wrong ……as we move through the years of life.

We are all at different stages of life, some are comfortable and healthy, some not so well, some spiritually at peace, some a bit concerned about life or that it may be coming to an end.

Let’s just look at God’s promise to Abraham and the blessings he received.

After many, many years of faithful service, Abraham’s wife Sarah falls pregnant in her old age and they have a son, whom they call Isaac.

In the Old Testament reading this morning, we heard of God’s guidance, sending Abraham’s servant to find a suitable wife for his son Isaac, in Rebecca.

The marriage is seen as a great blessing and honour as Abraham is seen almost as a king
without being one, through his faithfulness and connection to God.

The blessing is through the connection to God.

Ps 45 is part of a song which praises a king in King David’s line. …. And so the family line of Jesus Christ continues to develop and with it a blessing from God.

These two readings which remind us of the long royal family line and significant connection to God’s kingdom.

They also remind us of aspects of their culture which we may not want to remain connected to.

1/ As soon as Abraham’s Servant realised Rebecca was the right choose for Isaac’s Wife, he placed a ring on her nose.
2/ In the first line of Ps 45 we heard V 10 we heard – O daughter, consider and incline your ear; forget your people and your father’s house.

Both of these verses we are likely to struggle with, and rightfully so as this is some of the culture of that day,….. that we have more on from.

Before I more on, I want to admit that there are portions of the Bible which are not helpful to us if we were to think that the bible should be followed to the letter... and so to anyone new to the bible and there are these days, it is helpful to gain some help understanding it. Which is the case in much of Paul’s writings and his theology.

In Paul’s letter to the Roman’s, Paul attempt’s to explain about the Law and sin, and the blessing we receive through God’s spirit when we receive God’s spirit.

Luckily if you keep reading the the next chapter Paul writes, Roman’s Ch 8 explains ‘Life in the Spirit’ which is a continuation of the Blessing given to Abraham and his family. From Abraham and King David through to Christ, God’s Son and on to Us through Baptism are all part of God’s great family and blessing.

Paul writes with a very black and white way, it can be difficult to understand our baptism and connection to God through Paul’s writings.

In Roman’s 6 Paul writes,

But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed,” Romans 6:17

Can we have a show of hands please, who has been baptised?

Who can say they are free from sin and……. sin no more?

While Paul is right in a way, it’s the time frame the is not quite right.
So I think it is helpful to consider our transition into the Kingdom of God.

How well do we listen to the voice of God, God’s spirit, the comforter

I had a health scare over the Christmas break, with a respiratory problem and with a scan discovered two lumps on my lungs and problems breathing and knowing my mother died of lung cancer.

But it’s ok I only have asthma. This is good as it help afford me the chance to stick my head through the ceiling of life to wander if I only have six months to live.

I am comforted by the concept that as we live and enjoy life we gain spiritual peace and hope while our body goes through this ageing process. We our spirit, continues up or continues to grow, while our physical body seems to head down. While it’s a bit on the scary side, our experience of God our saviour will give us strength.

The transition as a human with a sinful nature is a life long one but one which should be made easier with the wisdom and spirit of God.

Matthew’s gospel should cause us to ask, … have we listen to the wisdom of God.
Or do we ignore God when God speaks to us.

Life can be difficult and God is there waiting to reach out to us.

Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and are carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest!” Remember God’s peace is beyond compare

Richard Whereat