February 24, 2019

Genesis 45:3-11, 15 Luke 6:27-38 “Grace Running Over” Did you notice one of the most famous Scripture verses in our Gospel reading this morning? Luke 6:31 says “Do to others as you would have them do to you,” and that is possibly one of the best-known ideas from the New Testament or most-common summaries of what it is that Jesus taught. People call it the “Golden Rule” – not because it will make you rich, but because if you can’t remember all the other commandments and instructions found the in the Bible, if you at least try to live by this one, you’ll do okay. “Do to others as you would have them to do you.” The concept is certainly not unique to the New Testament or to Christianity. Perhaps you have come across “The Golden Rule” poster, published by the Scarboro Missions in Toronto, and posted in many interfaith chaplaincy offices in hospitals, and university campuses, and retreat centres. It points out that when people of all the major religions sit down to talk about what is the most important aspect of their faith, they find a great deal in common. Christians find the “Golden Rule” in Luke 6:31 and Matthew 7:12, and Jews read something very similar from the Talmud: “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour.” Likewise, the Prophet Muhammad of Islam teaches: “Not one of you truly believes until you wish for others what you wish for yourself.” From Jainism we learn: … Read more »

August 17, 2014

Genesis 45:1-15 Psalm 133 “God Turned it Around for Good” How very good and pleasant it is when families live together in unity! This morning’s readings got me thinking about families… about families like the Drovers, bringing their youngest child for baptism this morning, about my own family, about traditional families, and blended families, and broken families, and reconciled families, and people seemingly without families, and our church families. How very good and pleasant it is when families live together in unity! One of the things that is great about the Bible, and especially the Old Testament, is that it doesn’t tell stories about perfect families, and challenge us to live up to their examples. Instead, the Bible is full of stories about real people and real families with all their conflicts, struggles, blessings, and possibilities. On the plane, on my way to Ontario this summer, I watched the recent movie version of the story of Noah and his family. Whoever wrote the screenplay got a bit creative with the story that we know so well from the Bible and filled in some blanks where we don’t have any details. But what struck me about it most was how human the characters were. Even though Noah’s family was supposed to be the only good one left on the earth, the family God would use to begin again after the flood, the movie showed that they were no angels. They were regular people, struggling to live together in unity in the … Read more »