Text: Matthew 25.39-45.
Originally preached on April 21, 2013. And, yes, the title is a reference to an Adam Ant lyric.
This sermon originally followed a presentation by a local prison ministry and begins with an interpretive reading of Matthew 25:39-45 by the congregation.
Written excerpts follow, click “play” to hear the entire sermon.
The life of the saints is one of active engagement in righteousness not passive avoidance of unrighteousness. That is what Jesus calls us to. Because faith isn’t drudgery, it isn’t busy-work, it isn’t a little list to check off as we go. There’s plenty of that to be found elsewhere, and there has been for millennia. If that were all we needed, if that were all God wanted for us, Jesus would not have had to come and die on the cross and be risen from the dead for that. No. He modeled for us and calls us to a life of active engagement in love, in grace, in kindness, in mercy, in service, in justice, and yes, even in sacrifice because that is how relationships are built, that is how barriers are torn down, that is how healing is accomplished. That is how the seeds of the kingdom are planted, that is how we receive the life that truly is life, because that is what God wants for us. He wants it for others as well…
“The life of the saints is one of active engagement in righteousness not passive avoidance of unrighteousness.”
Easter did not vanquish that darkness. What Easter does do is defy it. Easter is God’s declaration that dawn breaks, it is not broken. There is a light that shines in that darkness, the darkness will not overcome it. And so yes, tears may still linger for the night, but joy comes in the morning. And because Christ is risen, because there is a light shining in that darkness–morning will always come.
That is our hope, that is our salvation, and that also is our mission as God’s people–to live in that light, to live in that hope. To do, to love, to walk, to go into the darkness so that others might see the light and so that we might discover, we might see with our very own eyes just how deep into the darkness Christ’s light is able to shine.
Jesus is not looking for “Goody Two Shoes”, he is looking for those willing to lace up their shoes and follow after him carrying their cross as they go to let their light shine and help his light shine brighter and further…
Original music video for “Goody Two Shoes” by Adam Ant.