At this morning’s eucharist, after the St Margaret’s congregation had sung the hymn “All for Jesus”, Michael Paterson shared the uncomfortable reading of today’s Gospel from three different perspectives – as a priest; as a politician at COP26; as church folk – before offering an alternative ‘good news of our Lord according to the poor of our world’.
He continued: “Friends, it’s easy to hear today’s Gospel and thank God that we are not scribes and Pharisees. It’s easy to hear today’s gospel and point the finger at world leaders who are not a bit like us. But it takes real honesty and courage to face the challenge that this Gospel might just be about you and about me.
“Speaking personally, I would rather someone else was preaching today and I was sitting where you are. Because underlying today’s gospel are two piercing questions which challenge me to the core. The first is this: Am I a part-time or a full-time Christian? And the second is: Am I a person of religious words, or am I a person of Christian action?
“And what about you? Are you a part-time or a full-time Christian? And are you a person of religious words, or a person of Christian action?
“‘All for Jesus, all for Jesus’ – not what’s left when I get round to it, not the scraps of my energy or free time, not the loose change that I won’t miss, but my own widow’s mite. ‘ALL for Jesus. ALL for Jesus.’
“Let’s stand and sing the hymn together and make it an act of commitment and renewal.”
We did that, and then joined in the Creed for the Planet that you’ll find at this link.
Do read the whole of Michael’s sermon at this link.