In today’s text (John 16:12-15) we are given a sneak peek into this idea of the Trinity. The word Trinity is not found in the New Testament, and in fact it was Tertullian an early church father who coined the phrase. But the idea of Father, Son and Holy Spirit was present in Jesus’ life. In today’s gospel reading we get a glimpse of Jesus speaking about the Father and the Spirit and a relationship which the three of them share. Jesus does not describe what they are but rather, how they are. Jesus explains that the trinity is in complete relationship. It is an ongoing dance, and we are all invited to join in with the divine dance. Everything that the Father has is Jesus’. All that Jesus has is shared to the Spirit and declared upon us. We now have a place on the floor and can join in with the dance of the Holy Trinity this is all made available to us through Christ.
We know this as a childhood saying: Losers weepers, finders keepers. But these words ring true about the God who has dedicated himself to find those who were lost-all human beings who have lost their way through sin. God turned his compassion into action. His Son, Jesus Christ, is God’s living, breathing, search and rescue mission. Jesus continues to welcome us week by week to his table, where we celebrate how we’ve been found, fed and forgiven through his body and blood in bread and wine. He calls us to participate in this same mission, to seek out the lost and the lonely, and welcome them in love and grace.
There’s something comforting about hearing the voice of someone we love. It’s immediately soothing, even if it on the end of a phone. Psalm 1 is the gateway into the psalms. It encourages us to listen closely to God as he speaks to us through his word. It is our father’s voice of love, wisdom and encouragement. Listening to him provides security and stability for the journey through life. Thanks to LCANZ Bishop, Paul Smith for bringing God’s word to us this Sunday.
We’re in the middle of our two hospitality months here at St John’s. Perhaps you’ve invited some people over for a meal. Today Jesus scores an invitation to a Pharisees’ house. But he discovers that the Pharisee and his other guests are not all that hospitable. They fall over themselves for the best seat and they betray what’s in their hearts. Jesus challenges them, and us, to reflect his hospitable love. As Jesus served us through his cross, now he invites us to serve him by sharing his hospitable love with us, especially those who others ignore.
We live in a 24/7 world. Businesses promise to answer our calls day or night. The news cycle runs continuously. It’s hard to keep up with everything. And then we hear from Paul today that God calls us to be 24/7 disciples. How can we add another thing to our already overbusy lives? But God’s call is not peripheral but central to our identity as his children. His call flows out of his love for us through his Son, Jesus Christ, and through his Holy Spirit he equips us with his gifts: material, natural and spiritual. The whole of our life radiates out from the core of his 24/7 love for us.
Economics is the science of determining how best to allocate finite resources for the greatest good. It operates on the principle of risk and reward, of work and wages. It talks about scarcity and limits. God’s economy, however, is quite different. Rewards comes and then work follows. The call comes, and then we work out with the help of the Holy Spirit the work God would have us do. God’s kingdom is the arena of his grace and generosity. Under his rule, what we consider as our time, talents and treasures are his gifts, poured out on us, to overflow in love for the sake of the world.
Did you know that the word ‘economics’ comes from the Greek word for steward? A steward was a person appointed by the owner to manage their household. This meant looking after property, staff and the wellbeing of the household. God created human beings to be stewards of God’s creation. He called us to “be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it,” but we thumbed our noses at God and wanted to run the whole show. Look at the mess we’ve made. However, But God sent Jesus as the faithful steward over God’s house. Jesus loses his life to save us, he recreates us in his image and he calls us serve his Father as faithful stewards of God’s grace. This is our privileged calling.
What’s your most treasured possession? Your house, a car, a piece of art or jewellery? A family heirloom? We have so much, and the temptation we face is to invest the things we have with ultimate meaning. When we do this, we forget the God who has blessed us with all that we have, and we forget those whom God has called us to love. We are God’s treasured possession, through the death and resurrection of his Son, Jesus Christ. This releases the hold of all the other ‘treasures’ we have, and we can treat them as gifts from God to be shared in love with others.
None of us are experts in prayer. We all struggle to pray consistently and carefully. Jesus offers us his prayer. The Lord’s Prayer teaches us how to pray. It is an entry point into the heart of prayer. It anchors us in a life of prayer, and leads us always deeper into the heart of God.