Sermons on Reconciliation of faith
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church The Rev. Barbara Hutchinson Seven years ago, when I was interviewing here at St. Andrew’s, the Search Committee had written a marvelous Parish Profile for all perspective applicants, outlining a lively commitment to outreach, a devotion to worship, and ongoing opportunities for both children’s and adult formation. I pored over the material, absorbing it like it was the very air I was breathing, circling the phrases and sections I was most drawn toward, and writing in…
This is what John the Baptist speaks of in our lesson today: the baptism of the repentance for the forgiveness of sins. It’s actually not the sins themselves that he wants to wash away, for God has already done that. It is our repentance of them, our turning away from them, our stretching our minds beyond them, our conversion to a life which no longer allows them. John the Baptist wants us to release ourselves from whatever prison we find ourselves within, which keeps us from the love of God. This is what we’re called into today by the prophetic voice of John the Baptist. Our actions, or our failure to act, the attacks, wounds, insults and slurs we have inflicted upon others or which have been inflicted upon us, these can stay with us for years, even though God has long ago has washed them away. For grace comes first. God shows up. God invites us to repent, to “go beyond our mind”, so the mountains we construct to protect our souls, can be torn down and washed away.
Reconciling the tension between our fear that God isn’t always with us, and having faith in God is hard work