Saturday, 3 October 2009

Notes for Sunday 4-10-09 (1)

Reflective service using Psalm 8 &
Hebrews 1: 1-4, 2: 5-12


It’s not often that I base a sermon or reflection on just one word. but I am so struck by the word in the psalm, which is quoted here in the letter to the Hebrews – the word ‘mindful’.
The psalmist asks God ‘What are human beings that you are mindful of them?’.

There are people who find it hard to believe in a God at all – and some who will try to say that you have either to believe in a creator or in an evolving universe. But most people, looking up at the stars, getting a glimpse into the marvels of the universe, find that it is hard not to believe that there is a creating force at work.
But the psalmist does not stop at the idea that there is a God who created the stars, our earth, and everything in it. He says that this God is mindful of human beings – there is a relationship between this great creator God and the people he has made.

And to help these people to be mindful of the God who loves them, the writer of the letter to the Hebrews spells out how God has related and is relating to his people. First there were the prophets, but now there has come the Son. Jesus is greater than the angels, God’s messengers, he is the one through whom God created all things, he is everything God is, he is the heir of all things, and yet he came to earth to suffer and to die.

For the Psalmist it is a wonderful thing to think of a God who is mindful of mere human beings and their needs – but in the letter to the Hebrews we encounter the God who is so mindful, so caring, so concerned for our well-being, that he comes among us in Christ.
Here is the very heart of God’s care, God’s mindfulness of us.
To come, to be lower than the angels, lower than most human beings, the lowest of the low nailed upon the cross, dying a criminal’s death: suffering the very worst we can imagine, to try to reach out the hearts and minds of human beings.

If the Psalm points us to the God who looks down from heaven to be mindful of us on earth, then Hebrews goes so much further, telling us of the God who comes down to earth to lift us all to heaven.

I am deliberately not using many words this morning. I want our communion to speak to us.
This is the physical reminder of Jesus’ sacrifice. Body broken, blood poured out. This is the evidence we need of a God who is supremely mindful of each of us – who never forgets our abandons his people, but will do absolutely anything to prove to us how we much we are loved.

And this is the reminder of the feast prepared for us in heaven.
We are loved to the uttermost, and we are made for love and service and glory.
We are truly a little lower than the angels – yet made glorious sons and daughters of God by the gift of Jesus Christ.

Let us share is the gift of love and be raised by that gift be the people we were made to be, mindful of God’s love and living to God’s glory. Amen.

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