Sunday, 22 April 2012

Notes for an Homily on the Occasion of the Third Sunday of Easter

I find it helpful to see all the readings at once so I can see themes and colour code them (this thanks to Logos Bible Software and, for the printed screen, Skitch). The two themes were:

  1. Jesus Himself (yellow highlighting)
  2. Repentence (blue highlighting)

In addition, this morning I also referred to the following quotes:
... a congregation of souls, men and women who find themselves called upon to repent and believe, obey and love, pray and forgive in the sin-tangled disorder of family and culture, world and work. (Marva Dawn & Eugene Peterson, The Unnecessary Pastor, Eerdman's, 2000, p61)
And from the also most excellent Timothy Keller, The Reason for God (Penguin, 2008): 
If Jesus is not a lunatic, then our only alternative is to accept his claims and centre our entire lives around him. The only thing we have no right to do is to respond to him mildly. p230
Repentance, then, is confessing the things besides God himself that you have been relying on for your hope, significance, and security. That means we should repent not only for things we have done wrong (like cheating or lying), but also for the motivations beneath our good works. p233
The second thing you have to do is believe in Christ. Belief in Christ has a definite content to it. We must believe he was who he said he was, that we require salvation, that on the Cross he secured that salvation, that he rose from the dead. However, while life changing Christian faith is not less than believing these things with your intellect, it is much more. p233-234
You don’t have to wait for all doubts and fears to go away to take hold of Christ. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you have to banish all misgivings in order to meet God. That would turn your faith into one more way to be your own Saviour. Working on the quality and purity of your commitment would become a way to merit salvation and put God in your debt. It is not the depth and purity of your heart but the work of Jesus Christ on our behalf that saves us. p234