Readings Psalm 139 vv 1 – 12
Philippians 2 vv 5 – 11
Sermon preached on Wednesday 24th September 11am.
Here surely are two of the most famous, most well loved and most profound passages of scripture giving us insight into the profound mystery of God, not couched in detached remote academic philosophy or abstract theology but rather painting a picture of what God is like and how God can be known
The psalmist: reminding that there are absolutely no NO GO areas as far as God is concerned ; and St Paul using a beautiful poetic hymn about God coming among us in Christ Jesus – stooping, serving and saving
And of course the message of hope that is enshrined in these two passages is profound. Not without reason this psalm is often used at funerals to underscore the Christian belief in the resurrection and the faith that in Christ death is not the end
Not without reason is the passage from St Paul used as a reminder to us that no one but no one is beyond the compassion and mercy of God, and that the distinctive Christian approach to life is one of humility, gratitude and service
There is something truly profound in this insight into God -saying to us that whatever happens it’s not so much that God will follow us – rather that God is already there waiting and welcoming – it’s not a case of us taking God – it’s more that God is always a jump ahead so to speak, and is waiting for us in loving compassion.
This is an important truth … because being human we tend so often to think that we have put ourselves beyond the pale – that because of what we have done or who we are God can’t possibly be interested in us anymore. We have forfeited the right and have messed up big time – Yes of course we sin and fail and fall short and God yearns for us to turn to him in penitence and hope so that our hearts and souls are warmed by his forgiving love… the important truth is that God is there waiting for us, waiting for all of us, no matter what
And yet there is a further dimension to all of this that is both scary yet equally profound.
As you know part of our ministry here at St Mary’s ( but we are not alone in this by any means) is to take the sacrament of holy communion to various residential homes in our parish where so many of the residents are experiencing the inner turmoil of dementia in all its many forms – and the fear that lurks beneath the surface, both for those with dementia and those who care for them, is that somehow they have fallen off the edge and are no longer precious in anyone’s sight. And so when we offer bread and wine to these residents we are saying something profound – we are reminding them that they are still precious – that they still belong to God’s family – that they don’t have to search for God because God is already there in their turmoil offering himself in compassion and hope.
Here in Nantwich we are as a town working towards becoming a dementia friendly town just as we and other churches are seeking to explore how best to become dementia friendly churches.. and as we explore ways of putting our arms around those who are feeling lost and bewildered we know that we are speaking and acting in the name of God who stoops to serve, who stoops to save, and who is waiting for all of us, no matter where, no matter where.