Family service HT 03 July 2016 Luke 10: 1-11, 16-20 with baptism 2 Kings 5.1-14
Granny puppet talks about:
- Being Baptised and going to church regularly
- Her love for her Garden – found poorly bird, prayed and cared for the little blackbird. (thinks) If I can do that, what can I do for people?
- She decides to stop being a Pew potato and do something with the gift God has given her. (explain a pew potato is someone who just comes to church and sits on the pew. Then when service is over, they get up and go home. Kind of like a couch potato.)
- She realises she can do something; she can pray for others.
(Put puppet down)
What if, like Granny, you realised you could do something for God and for this world we live in? I wonder if the same thought went through the minds of the seventy sent out by Jesus? Did they volunteer or did Jesus choose them? What was it that made them step forward and say, here I am Lord, send me?
These seventy people had listened to Jesus and watched him perform miraculous healings. They had learned about their place in God’s kingdom and were equipped to carry on the work of Jesus. How was this possible?! Especially when they were not the most well educated, intelligent and powerful people in their society?
I think it was because they felt and understood their place as children of God. They had seen first-hand how God worked in their lives and those around them. So they knew that they had the spirit of God working them in order to help those they were sent out to heal. But most of all they understood the battle against evil Jesus was facing and fighting.
And it is this battle we to face. Like Granny realised, we are not called to be pew potatoes. God doesn’t want you to just come to church, worship Him, and then go home. He wants to use you. 1 Corinthians 12 talks about the fitly joined body of Christ and the different jobs each member does. Like the seventy, we to are sent out into our communities and our workplaces because we each have an important job to do.
And that job, in the power of Christ, is to heal our broken world. For to be healed is to be made whole, and welcomed back into community, into relationship with God. This is what we are baptised for but for many they think it is an impossible task. They do not see that we are surrounded in every moment of our lives by God’s healing moments. They have in fact, spiritual amnesia. They have forgotten what is means to be loved by God and that they are the children of God. They may often think that Jesus is irrelevant to their lives, that God is not present when facing problems and puzzles and severe tests of faith, where despite our prayers and struggles things just often go plain wrong. But, as disciples of Christ, we are called to recognize God’s healing moments and to lead all people to His loving forgiveness. And in doing so we might just find a new, reawakened sense of faith and purpose.
Today, Alba is baptised into the loving family of Christ, our church family. Not only does she gain new godparents but she also gains brothers and sisters in Christ. That’s all of us here and all Christians in Malvern, the UK and the world! All have a part to play in her growing up in Christ and she has her part to play too.
Most of all, today celebrates that Alba is a child of God. This is a wondrous thing and not something to be taken lightly. However, this is just one half of the story. The second half is the challenge for each of us is to deepen our hearts, to acknowledge our acceptance into the heart of Christ. Only then can we fully be open to receiving his gifts and taking our places within His body. Only then can we become not only friends of God but His children setting out into the world to grow His family of love.