Blue Mountains Franciscan Church , Sermon preached by Brother Andrew at Winmalee Sunday march 13th.
My sermons come to me in the grapplings of the Holy Spirit, in fits and starts, moving from ignorance to enlightenment, and as late as the early hours of this morning ( Sunday) the Holy Spirit said to me that even then it was not quite right, not what God intended for us today, through these readings.
[So I am rewriting this on the coach on the way to Blacktown where I shall join my train to the Mountains.]
Jesus and his disciples have stopped in Bethany to visit friends on their way to Jerusalem. Lazarus and the twelve, with Jesus are reclined around the table, Martha is serving them. Mary, if you remember “Chose the better part” comes in with a jar of Nard costing at least 300 denaria, the equivalent of an agricultural worker’s wage for a year and pours it all over Jesus’ dusty feet and dries them with her hair. The sweet perfume fills the whole house, how Dear mary considers jesus. By now we know about Judas, his fake concern for the poor would line his own pocket because he is both Treasurer,and thief and betrayer.
The ‘Poor’are still here, but Jesus has gone away to his costly death, his anointing by Mary against the day of his hurried burial and we are now in Paul’s admirable shoes.
The deserts have bloomed and the Nations have seen as the waters of God have brought new life from death as in the time of Noah and Babylon.
We are come to what the Spirit had to say to the church at Philippi ” You have become the Circumcision”, a very painful process, the sign that one belongs to a People, but to which People? To the People of Christ!
To become a person in Christ we must forsake all and here we have Paul’s testimony:
” I am about as Jewish as one could be and yet for the sake my salvation in him I have given that all away, I turned from the Law of the flesh to the Law of Grace, I gave up the Baptism of Moses and the Passover Lamb for the True Lamb of God. My greatest desire is to humble myself to become as he was, to share his sufferings, even to the cross and dare I but hope, also to share in the resurrection of the dead.”
So what does the Circumciscion mean for us, how are we or do we become this?
- I mentioned the Circumciscion – the Covenant with Abraham
- I have mentioned the renewing lifegiving water
- I mentioned the Baptism unto Moses
- And I mentioned the Perfect Lamb of God
For us to become the Circumcision Paul speaks of to the Philippians I was led by the Spirit to write that ” We have become the Baptism”
Baptism is one of the two ordinances given to us by Christ and each new believer must pass through the Baptism of Jesus to become a member of the Children of God – Christ-ians.
To become The Baptism, to be known as People of God by our Christ like living and not by our Certificates, to become living water for others is I believe what the Spirit is saying
It is a Process.
Br Andrew Efo