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Updated 7th May 2021

Download Sermon for 6th Sunday of Easter - 9th May HERE

6th Sunday of Easter

It’s quite natural in life to make friends. Some of us make more friends than others. We may be happy to have lots of friends or just one or two friends. Or we might be happy to have no friends as such and rather just friendly acquaintances. There is quite a bit of loneliness in the world and there are many who would be grateful for more human company. For a person to share something of their life with you and you to share something of your life with them. During the lockdowns we’ve had, many of us have missed family and friends, and as things continue to open up, we are looking forward to re-uniting with them. For those who are in unhappy or abusive relationships, the past year or so has been very difficult, having to spend so much time with the abuser or at least someone who makes them unhappy. As we might know, sometimes in domestic abuse, the victim is cut off from friends. Deprived of friendship, because the abuser wants the person all for themselves. And if they’ve managed to hold on to friends, well the pandemic has made it difficult for them to have that much needed release and catch up with friends. Certain charities do a great deal to help and address these situations.

Overall it’s important for people to be nice to each other. And if that sounds a little twee, to be good each other. Help others. Care for others. Share with others. If we have something good, let’s not keep it to ourselves, but let other people benefit from it. At the moment the world sadly shares a pandemic and on this global level the UK and other western countries have for instance sent much needed oxygen and ventilators to India, gripped by Covid with hospitals overwhelmed. Continuing in this vein, it’s important worldwide to make sure poorer countries benefit from the vaccines, which we’re so grateful for and we applaud the vaccine roll out in our own country, which everyone is entitled to have.

So yes, being good to each other, locally or globally can only be beneficial.

The Christian life is about being good to each other. Helping others, caring for others and sharing with others. We have something good, which cannot be kept to ourselves. We have to share it. It’s called love. All true love in whatever way is surely good and that’s because it reflects something of the perfect love that is God. God has a perfect love for us and he demonstrated that by sending his Son Jesus as the bearer of that love. So much so he laid down his life for us.

In laying down his life for us, we have in Jesus a true friend. He might be God the Son, he might be the Messiah and Lord. He might be the Saviour of the world. He may be Christ the King! But he’s also our friend. If we truly believe in him, Jesus is our best friend. He has something good to give to us and he wants us to be unsparing in sharing it with others. Jesus showed his true friendship, when he broke all the rules of master and servant and washed his disciples feet. In doing this Jesus wanted to share his love with us so that we might do the same and share it with others. We hear Jesus say in our gospel today.

‘As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love.’

Abiding in that love means of course showing something of that love back. Loving Jesus and loving God the Father. But it also means loving others and not keeping that divine love to ourselves. Showing that special love from God marks us out as friends of Jesus. As friends of Jesus we live the Jesus way, loving one another as he loves us. The Jesus way means we try to live selfless and sacrificial lives, just as our friend Jesus led a selfless and sacrificial life.

Living life just for ourselves is sad, because it means we don’t reach the full potential of what God can do through us. God loves us all. His love for his believers, his church, means we receive the Holy Spirit. First the disciples received it at Pentecost, but it could not be contained among a small group of people and rather it burst out. The energy of the Holy Spirit went out to curious outsiders who had looked in and liked what they saw, as we hear in our first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, in reference to Cornelius, the Roman Centurion and his family and friends.
May we be filled with that same Spirit. That same Spirit that brings Jesus to us in bread and wine, as he continues to come among his gathered friends. And may we take the joy we find in that friendship out there; to the lonely, the estranged, the trapped, the broken, the poor, the sick and the dying.

For good news is good news for all!

Amen.


 

 


Download Sermon for 5th Sunday of Easter - 2nd May HERE

Download Sermon for 4th Sunday of Easter - 25th April HERE

Download Sermon for 3rd Sunday of Easter - 18th April HERE

Download Sermon for 2nd Sunday of Easter - 11th April HERE

Download Sermon for Easter Sunday - 4th April HERE

If anyone wants sermons from January-March 2021, just email webmaster@brandonparish.org.uk