There has been a lot going on lately. My friend and colleague Shirley died, I have been working on a commission for Presbytery and developing the links between Scots and St Stephen’s congregations so that in July I begin preaching for both congregations. It would be so easy if there were an easy fix faith solution for life. Len Sweet’s image of “soulware” or “lifeware” that you simply download into your heart resonates, but we can’t leave it there.
This sermon was preceded by the singing of the 23rd Psalm. It weaves our personal response with our communal one.
I was drawn by reflections from Stanley Hauerwas on Mothers Day which invites us to reflect on the Jesus story in relations to mothers:
One of the great difficulties with being a Christian in a country like America—allegedly a Christian country—is that our familiarity with “Christianity” has made it difficult for us to read or hear Scripture. For example, consider how “Mother’s Day” makes it hard to compre hend the plain sense of some of the stories of Jesus. In Mark 3:31–35 we find Jesus surrounded by a crowd. His mother and brothers were having trouble getting through the crowd to be with Jesus. Somebody in the crowd tells him that his mom cannot get through the mass of people to be near him. Which elicits from Jesus the rhetorical question “Who are my mother and brothers?” which he answered, noting, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” Even more forcefully Jesus says in Luke 14:26: “Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple.” When you celebrate “Mother’s Day,” the only thing to do with texts like these is “explain them,” which usually means Jesus could not have meant what he plainly says.
“We Believe Our Mission is: To be