Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sermon for the Sixth Sunday of Easter

I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 

Last week we spoke about longing, inconsolable longing.

This longing is a longing for God.
It is given to us by God, it is a gift.
It is given to us by God out of his longing for us.
It is his way of letting us know he longs for us.

Everyone experiences this.
Whether they believe or not, it is experienced.

We have a choice.
We can either wake up and realise this is what this sense is, or we can ignore it.
It is not going to go away.

Philip said ‘Show us the Father and we will be satisfied.’
It is only God that can satisfy us, it is only God that can console that longing.

It is when we recognise that the longing within us is from God and is indeed the same longing God has for us, that we can begin the journey.

The moment of recognition is when we respond to God.

Then it is time to wake up.

Jesus said: ‘If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

That is the first step in waking up, recognising God, and responding to God.
Knowing that longing is Gods love, and responding by following his way.
Following his commandments.
These aren’t a proscriptive list: they are more general.

Love God.
Love your neighbour.
Love your self
Love one another as I have loved you.
These are the first responses to waking up, the first responses to God’s love for us.

Is it that we do them to obey God, to be obedient,
or is it rather that we are only able to do them because we love God?

We wake up.

Thomas Merton said “We become contemplatives when God discovers himself in us”

It pays to think about waking up.
The actual thing that happens everyday.
How was it this morning?
Was it an alarm clock, one that violently pulled you out of sleep?
Was it a gentle process, with no hurry?
Was it you woke up before your alarm?
Did you wake up because you had somewhere to be?


You were asleep.
Then you were awake.

It is the same for the spiritual awakening.

Think that moment, where it seems to be between the two states.
Sometimes there can be confusion.
You become alert, you become aware of where you are, what is going on, and what you need to do.

When we are asleep, our brain waves are slower, perception is dulled.
We are not completely out of it, we are still conscious.
We dream, we can hear.

Waking up is moving from a lower to a higher level of awareness or consciousness.

If waking up is something we all do, so too is waking our spiritual selves.
We don’t learn how to wake up from sleep.
We just do it.
So it is with spiritual awakening.

Spiritual awakening came seem like a sudden experience, and sometimes it is.
It can be a shock.

It can happen after years of searching.
It can happen after years of not even thinking about it.

Waking up can be sudden like with an alarm, or it can be a gentle experience.
But the thing it is a response.

Spiritual awakening is a response to that longing.

It is the moment you recognise that longing as being a gift from God.
It is Gods longing for you within you.

The moment you recognise that is the moment you begin your journey of spiritual awakening.

Jesus tells his disciples that
the world will no longer see him, but they will see him; 

He says that to us, and he says:
because I live, you also will live. 

We live because Jesus Lives.

Then he says:
I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 

This is expressed in a different way in the first letter of John:
God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.
If you think about where we started:
‘If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

A first response in waking up is love.
It is knowing that God loves you.
It is knowing that you love God.
It is knowing that in that feeling of love, God is present.

When Jesus says: I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.
He is speaking of his own divinity,
and he is speaking of his love for us and our response to that.
The inconsolable longing is recognised as a yearning to abide in God,
not just see as Philip asked,
but to abide.

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