A Homilie for the Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
November 15, 2015
(1 Samuel 1: 4-20; Song of Hannah; Hebrews 10: 11-25; Mark 13: 1-11)
Like many of you the events in Paris have left me shocked and dismayed. More innocent lives lost. Guns, bullets, bombs, and blood. More families torn apart.
Paris is not the first time. In recent years hauntingly similar stories have been reported from every corner of God’s beloved world. Yesterday’s events are neither not new in nature or scale.
In our gospel reading the disciples are told of a coming unrest. Jesus encouraged them to have open eyes to the signs of the time, to be aware of the cost, to continue to proclaim the ‘good news’, and to replace worry with an awareness of the presence and activity of the Holy Spirit.
The author of the book of Hebrews does something similar. After celebrating the ‘new and living way’ of our ‘Great High Priest’ he asks for our response: approach God in faith, hold fast to the hope Jesus inspires, and consider how to nurture one another into ‘love and good deeds’. These habits are to increase (not decrease) among us as we ‘see the day approaching’.
We also heard Hannah’s story. This barren and faith-filled woman prayed for a son. God, we are told, remembered her and changed her story.
So today, I want to invite you to prayer. Prayer for the people of Paris. Prayer for our world leaders and decision makers. Prayer for those whose hearts are filling with hate and fear. Prayer for all who can only imagine revenge. I would ask you, as I believe Jesus would, to pray for those you love, for your enemies, and for all who fall somewhere in between.
So instead of finishing this sermon, I would invite you now, in faith and love, to break into small groups and bring our broken world before the God who cares more than we could ever imagine.
Perhaps the best pace to start is: ‘Lord have mercy’.