28 November 2010

Homily for Last Sunday of the Church Year

November brought a reprieve from the pulpit on Sunday mornings, though only to concentrate on preaching several funerals as well as the normal Wednesday routine of Morning Prayer (school chapel) and evening Divine Service.

However, on 21 November it was great to get back in the pulpit for the Last Sunday of the Church Year (a.k.a. Trinity 27) and preach on the Gospel from Matthew 25:1-13. It's amazing how many different angles a preacher can take on a single text over the years. This time it was a joy to focus on the theme, "Don't Miss Out!"

Just click on this link to download the audio file and then listen to the homily.

Robert Farrar Capon's treatment of the parable of the wise and foolish virgins was certainly compelling throughout. But this quote, which also concluded the homily, was hard to ignore:

“’Watch therefore,’ Jesus says at the end of the parable, ‘for you know neither the day nor the hour.’ When all is said and done—when we have scared ourselves silly with the now-or-never urgency of faith and the once-and-always finality of judgment—we need to take a deep breath and let it out with a laugh. Because what we are watching for is a party. And that party is not just down the street making up its mind when to come to us. It is already hiding in our basement, banging on our steam pipes, and laughing its way up our cellar stairs. The unknown day and hour of its finally bursting into the kitchen and roistering its way through the whole house is not dreadful; it is all part of the divine lark of grace. God is not our mother-in-law, coming to see whether her wedding-present china has been chipped. He is a funny Old Uncle with a salami under one arm and a bottle of wine under the other. We do indeed need to watch for him; but only because it would be such a pity to miss all the fun.” (Robert Farrar Capon, Parables of Judgment, 166)

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