Summary: A sermon that considers love as an antidote to the sin of murder that can embed itself in our hearts
The Bible reading
Exodus 20 1-22
Thou shalt not kill. How come the brief statements are sometimes the most profound?
Words like _ I have a dream – For God so loved the world and – All blacks - all conjure up images for us.
Thou shalt not kill evokes for us an unlikely to becrossed line in our eyes.
Let me tell you a story.
Mr Jackson everyday looked angrily towards his neighbours.
Fushia and Watt. What kind of names were they? It made him angry. Tattoos, and, she had a nose piercing, and, their dog chased his cat.
Mr Jackson sighed.
Parties sometimes, well barbeques, cars parked on his front lawn, Loud music, laughter, and, once, a bonfire that smoked his washing. Over the years Mr Jackson had come to resent them. They were everything that he didn’t like. When they had children he predicted that they wouldn’t be any good. And he was right!!! Runny noses, hand me down clothes, and, in recent times running barefoot in the rain and playing touch on his road. Mr Jackson searched his memory for adjectives. No hopers, hippys Bolschoveks, losers and wing nuts!!!
He had grown to hate them “Bet they smoke dope!” He said to his wife before she passed away. He took notes on them, made lists, recorded incidents. He checked out their yellow topped rubbish bin at nights and once slipped an unwashed milk carton in the bin in the hope that they’d get caught. They never did and Mr Jackson pouted. Councils not doing it’s work. Of course he never told the folk at church the story – Well not the whole story. He heard a sermon on love thy neighbour, but he was sure it applied to Mrs Murphy on the other side not – not them.
One of the elders suggest that he invite them to church. But what did he know? He laughed at the very idea and said that they were too far gone really.
Last December while Jackson, full of hate, was putting his red topped bin out for collection, square to the curb of course, not like them!!! Last December while putting his red topped bin square to the curb Mr Jackson had a heart attack.
It was a bad one .Light faded. Saw a tunnel. The pain incredible –Suddenly Watt the neighbour was pounding his chest his blond hair waving in the midst of the frenetic activity. "I’m a nurse." a womans voice entered his cloud of despair – "Don’t worry!!" roared Watt , " I’m a paramedic." check his pulse. With a compassion and empathy that Mr Jackson had never heard before Watt was saying into the haze – “Hang in there Mr Jackson hang in there.”
Jackson writhed in pain as his chest was battered by the compressions.
Last sight was the nurse screaming “I’ve got a pulse, I’ve got a pulse!!”
And Jackson leaning over him and in a panicking voice “Do you know Jesus Mr Jackson? Do you know Jesus?” I’m a Baptist – Ambulance screaming with it’s rescuing whine and Jackson sharply confronted by his own thoughts – He’d hated and murdered in his mind a fellow believer.