Preached FCCW February 7, 2016
Do you know what you get when you have Holy Communion,
Family Worship and Scout Sunday all on the same morning?
A really, really short sermon.
This one begins with a story…
There was once an old stone monastery on a remote mountaintop.
For many years people would make the significant detour
required to seek out this monastery.
The peaceful spirit of the place was healing for the soul.
In recent years however fewer and fewer people
were making their way to the monastery.
The monks had grown jealous and petty
in their relationships with one another,
and the animosity was felt by those who visited.
The Abbot of the monastery was distressed by what was happening,
and poured out his heart to his good friend Jeremiah.
Jeremiah was a wise old Jewish rabbi.
Having heard the Abbot’s tale of woe he asked
if he could offer a suggestion.
“Please do” responded the Abbot. “Anything you can offer.”
Jeremiah said that he had received a vision,
an important vision, and the vision was this:
the messiah was among the ranks of the monks.
The Abbot was flabbergasted.
One among his own was the Messiah!
Who could it be?
He knew it wasn’t himself, but who?
He raced back to the monastery and shared
his exciting news with his fellow monks.
The monks grew silent as they looked into each other’s faces.
Was this one the Messiah?
From that day on the mood in the monastery changed.
Brother Joseph and Brother Ivan started talking again,
neither wanting to be guilty of slighting the Messiah.
Brother Pierre and Brother Naibu left behind their frosty anger
and sought out each other’s forgiveness.
The monks began serving each other,
looking out for opportunities to assist,
seeking healing and forgiveness where offence had been given.
As one traveler, then another, found their way to the monastery
word soon spread about the remarkable spirit of the place.
People once again took the journey to the monastery
and found themselves renewed and transformed.
All because those monks knew the Messiah was among them.
In a distant time, on another mountaintop,
three disciples witnessed the Transfiguration of Jesus.
They saw the very glory of God shining through him.
Before their own eyes he became Light.
They saw Moses and Elijah —
two of their faith’ s most revered figures —
suddenly appear, to speak with Jesus.
Then they were surrounded by a cloud and
from within that cloud they heard the voice of God say,
“This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him.”
Because, up until then, they had been doing more
listening to what they wanted to hear,
than listening to what Jesus was actually saying.
From that day on though, they came to understand that
the Messiah was among them.
Gradually, that knowledge transformed their lives.
Beginning with the ways they treated each other,
and then, their relationships to others.
Eventually, they became the light that they saw
glowing through Jesus on the mountain.
When you and I live in the knowledge that
the Messiah –Jesus– dwells among us,
we too, can become light to each other and to the world.
As we begin the season of Lent
with our Ash Wednesday service this week,
may we devote ourselves to those things
that increase our faith and assurance
that our Lord is in our midst,
so that we also may become light.
And, may those whose journey leads them to this church,
find themselves renewed and transformed
by the Light of Christ that is here.
Preached FCCW February 7, 2016