Choosing life in solidarity
An excerpt from the Deans's sermon for Sunday, 1 March 2020
Perhaps not surprisingly on this first Sunday in Lent, the Bible readings chosen for today tends to focus on temptation and sin.
For sure there will be sermons in churches all around Grafton and all over the nation about sin as the great reality at the heart of human existence, and about how we all need to use these 40 days of Lent to turn away from sin and embrace the good news.
I am going to take a different line today.
Most likely that will not surprise you.
In doing that I am not blind to sin, although I prefer to call its by its proper names of ANGER, EVIL, FEAR, HATRED, INJUSTICE and VIOLENCE.
What tends to be categorised as ‘sin’ seem mostly to be low level moral failures that cause very little harm but arouse the passion of the theological thought police, while those things that really are evil and which cause devastation to individuals, families, communities and even the planet as a whole tend to escape the label ‘sin’.
To the extent that we want to turn away from sin this Lent, let’s search for ways to address these larger and more potent forms of evil and avoid a self-serving focus on moral failure and religious laziness.
Each of us flawed—hence the phrase ‘broken things for broken people” as I invite you to the table of Jesus.
But each and every flawed human being is capable of the most amazing acts of courage, generosity and love.
Contrary to the theological fear-mongers, sin is not what characterises us most deeply. Rather, our true dignity as human beings and as Earth creatures is that we are made in the image of God and have the most amazing capacity for good.
Next time you look in the mirror, congratulate God on her fine work rather than berating yourself for some marginal improvements that may be long overdue.
Read or watch the whole sermon online.