On Sunday morning I will be basing my sermon on a reflection sent from the diocesan offices for Synod Sunday… I will be speaking about the unhealthy, unhelpful, ties that bind us. Ahab is bound by lust and greed, Elijah and the Gerasenes, by fear, the demoniac by “demons” and many of Paul’s time by the law.
Paul himself had been bound by the Law… but found life and freedom in Christ. He sought to share this with others as we see in his letter to the Galatians in chapter 3 – 27As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.28 There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.
The ties, which bind us, are many and varied and may not appear visible to others… but they are visible to God. Jesus set the demoniac free and can do the same for each of us if we will give control of our lives into his hands. Most of us accept and understand this as truth. We bask in the love of our forgiving Lord, but can we, like Jesus and Paul, enable the tearing apart of the bindings of others.
Several years ago nominators for a particular parish were looking for a new Rector. They returned from one “secret” visit to spy out the suitability of a particular priest in a very negative frame of mind. They commented, “This man is supposed to be well thought of – an Archdeacon! – Yet numbers were low and the people…. Well, lets just say they were a pretty undesirable bunch! There was an obvious cross dresser and a few people looked like street workers… If that’s the best he can do he won’t do for us!”
All too often our own blinkers and prejudices become the chains that bind the people around us. But we ourselves have been loved, forgiven and accepted by the same Jesus who ate with tax collectors, healed those outside of the faith and allowed a “sinner woman” to kiss his feet! Ought we not do the same? Isn’t this Gods call to all who would follow Jesus?
Let our prayers this week be focused on freedom for ourselves and all who find themselves bound in desperate situations- through Christ, the grace and Power of God.
Love and blessings