- Written by Benjamin Carter
John 13: 1-37
Our Gospel reading contains within it two deeply symbolic movements.
The first is the one that we have gathered to commemorate this evening, and which we will live out with each other in a few moments time.
In this moment Jesus takes a towel, and ties it around his waist, and kneels at the feet of his disciples and in washing their feet, he serves them.
In this movement, this most simple and demeaning of acts, Jesus gives us a glimpse of the deep truth we will find in these coming days.
The second movement is more hidden, it is shifty, so much so that the Gospel writer reminds us that is was night. This is the movement of Judas leaving to collect his money and betray Jesus. It is that movement which sets in train all those other movements which will draw us to the silence and stillness of the foot of the cross.
These are two movements which show us two ways to live, two ways to be.
In Judas we see the human path. This is the Will to Power. The desire to save our own bacon, to curry favour, to enrich ourselves with thirty pieces of silver. This is the path of human nature and desire. It is the path which Judas takes willingly or not, but which he takes nonetheless. And it is the path that is most often trodden through the centuries by humanity, and which we all have, whether we have cared to admit it or not, have strayed ourselves from time to time.
This is the path in which we draw things to ourselves first and then worry about the consequences later.
But in Jesus God shows us another path.
This path, this movement is of Will to Love. It is this which gives away first, which serves first, which loves first.
On this night Jesus offers us a choice.
Do we follow the Will to Power, do we save ourselves, do we think of our own needs first, and then work out what to do next, or do we follow the Will to Love?
In the first is security and safety, but no life.
In the second is risk and danger and love stronger than death.
In one we feed our sense of self.
And in the other we find that
love so amazing, so divine, [it]
demands by soul, my life, my all.
Sermons and occasional musings of the Vicar and Curate of all the best bits of Hadrian's Wall.
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The Vicar: Benjamin Carter
The Curate: Gill Alexander
Previous Sermons and Musings...
- Singing and the Soul: Sermon for the Twelfth Sunday after Trinity Benjamin Carter Sun 19-Aug-2018
- Sermon for the Funeral of Stanley Prins Super User Mon 16-Jul-2018
- Sermon for the Seventh Sunday after Trinity Super User Sun 15-Jul-2018
- Sermon for the Feast of Pentecost Super User Sun 20-May-2018
- Sermon for Easter Day Benjamin Carter Fri 06-Apr-2018
- Sermon for Good Friday Benjamin Carter Fri 06-Apr-2018
- Homily for Maundy Thursday Benjamin Carter Fri 06-Apr-2018
- Sermon for Palm Sunday Evening Prayer at Haydon Old Church Benjamin Carter Fri 06-Apr-2018
- Sermon for Passion Sunday Benjamin Carter Fri 06-Apr-2018
- A Sermon for the second Sunday before Advent Benjamin Carter Wed 29-Nov-2017
- Sermon for Remembrance Sunday Benjamin Carter Sun 12-Nov-2017
- "Turn then, and live" - A sermon for the sixteenth Sunday after Trinity Super User Thu 05-Oct-2017
- A Sermon for The Baptism of Christ Benjamin Carter Sun 15-Jan-2017
- "I wonder as I wander": A Sermon for the Feast of the Epiphany Benjamin Carter Mon 09-Jan-2017
- The Four Last Things: an Advent reflection Benjamin Carter Tue 20-Dec-2016
- The Four Last Things: Hell. A Sermon for the Fourth Sunday of Advent Benjamin Carter Sun 18-Dec-2016
- The Four Last Things: Heaven. A Sermon for the Third Sunday of Advent Benjamin Carter Sun 11-Dec-2016
- The Four Last Things: Judgement. A Sermon for the Second Sunday of Advent Benjamin Carter Thu 08-Dec-2016
- The Four Last Things: Death. A Sermon for Advent Sunday Benjamin Carter Thu 08-Dec-2016
- “In my end is my beginning”; a sermon for All Saintstide. Benjamin Carter Thu 08-Dec-2016
- “In whose service is perfect freedom”: Freedom, Liberty, and Europe. A Sermon for Trinity Sunday. Benjamin Carter Thu 08-Dec-2016