MAY THE WORDS OF MY LIPS AND THE MEDITATION OF OUR HEARTS BE ALWAYS ACCEPTABLE IN THY SIGHT OH LORD OUR STRENGH AND OUR REDEEMER
I See Said The Blind Man
"And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but preceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?" (St. Luke vi. 41)
During my studies I had the opportunity to learn two methods for writing a homily. The two were very different but neither was wrong or better than the other. One was a more structure approach and the other a more personal style. When I read St. Luke’s Gospel in preparation for writing today’s homily I decided the more personal style would be a better method to follow for this homily.
As some of you know this past year has seen the ministry to which God called me go through a significant change. Just over a year ago I could not have known that I would be standing here today. As I lived through the events of the last year many times both my wife and I turned to the Bible for comfort and guidance. Today’s parable from St. Luke’s gospel was one piece of scripture that I turned to because I needed to look at myself to understand what I had or had not done to contribute to the situation and what I could or could not do about the issues. I needed to remove the beam from my own eye before I could remove the mote from my brother’s eye. Only by looking at myself could I begin to see my brother more clearly. As I looked at myself other pieces of scripture became important like “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff comfort me.” Psalm 23. 4. Now clearly I was not physically dyeing however I could not see how my call to serve God was going to continue and that felt like a part of me was dying. I could not understand how God could let this conflict get in the way of my call to serve him. Slowly, bit by bit I got clarity and found that I needed to take certain actions such as meeting with the Bishops to explain how I thought things could be made to work. I came away from my meetings confused about why they did not see the solutions I was suggesting as workable. But this was all part of God’s plan. A plan I as yet still did not see or understand. There were more meetings and a couple of events that further showed that the path I had been on was not the path I was to be on going forward. Once I had that revelation new doors began to appear on the horizon. Scripture again was there to help “Come unto me, all ye that are travail and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you.” St John iii. 16. You see what I know today but did not know then is that God was helping me out of an impossible situation and was guiding me to what he wanted me to do. I needed to turn to him and trust him.
I contacted a brother in Christ who in turn guided me to Archbishop Robinson and the United Episcopal Church of North America. It was like a door was flung wide open and I walked into the light. That long dark hallway I had been walking down was behind me. There were lots of problems yet to be solved but I knew God was with me.
In the 6th Article of Religion in our BCP we read that “Holy Scripture contains all things necessary to salvation”. Reading scripture did not take away the pain or the uncertainty but it did make me think that there was a reason for what was happening. And as is so often the case in our life, in this world we don’t know where God is taking us. I could not have known growing up in a small village in Ontario Canada that I would be living here in central Florida, an ordained minister in Christ’s Church. I did not know a year ago that Grace Anglican Church would exist and be growing. But God guided us here and we just had to walk down the path he was showing us. We needed to put the past in the past, “judge not, and ye shall not be judged, condemn not and ye shall not be condemned, forgive and ye shall be forgiven, give and it shall be given unto you”. We do not know what the future will bring, we only know the direction God has given us.
So how do we deal with not knowing what God has in store for us? It starts with faith. You have to have faith that God does not set out to do harm to you. He is not an evil God, he is a loving God. God is not going to solve our problems for us so you can’t sit back and wait for a solution to suddenly appear out of nowhere. If you have your eyes open, the beam out of your eye, an opportunity will present itself. God gave us free will, the ability to think and do for ourselves and he expects us to use it. When we see that opportunity we have to get out there and do something. As much as we might prefer one all encompassing solution most times it is a series of steps or opportunities we take that lead us to our new place in this life. We have to pray, the Holy Spirit needs to have a dialogue with us not a one time ‘I have a problem help me fix it discussion’. And when we have prayed it does not hurt to take some time to sit quietly and meditate so the Holy Spirit can come to us. We have to look at ourselves, “percievest not the beam that is in thine own eye” recognize the things we are doing that are holding us back, because moving forward starts with us. If we change then others around us will change also and then and only then can we “see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye”. Only then will the glory of God’s plan be reveled to us.
And now unto God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost be ascribed all might, majesty, power and dominion as is most justly due this day; world without end. AMEN