Summary: To receive God’s gifts and grace we need to let go of things, attitudes and even our understanding of how things should be.
The sermon began with the following visual
“I have asked Andy Broom to help me with today’s sermon.”
Like every other journey we go on throughout our journey in life we pick up many packages and things.
We pick up:
The package of WHAT PEOPLE THINK & SAY ABOUT ME!!!
The package of WHAT I WANT!!!
The package of HOW I THINK THINGS SHOULD BE!!!!
A bucket load of HURTS!!!
The baggage of PRIDE!!!
A sack of WHAT makes me comfortable!!!
We pick up WHAT I BELIEVE I DESERVE!!!
A box of WHAT I HAVE DONE!!!
A bag of WHAT I OWN!!!
A box of WHAT I LIKE!!
And a basket of MY IMAGE
(for each of these was a package, box or bag that we loaded Andy up with, )
Not only do we pick these and other packages up we also hold tightly onto them.
Now in themselves most of the things we pick up are neither good nor bad,
Neither right or wrong until they get in the road of us having the life that God wants us to have.
Including getting into the road of us being fed.
At times they can make life uncomfortable and even prevent us from enjoying the life God wants us to have now and in the future.
Now Andy I would love to give you a beautiful brewed coffee.
And this is top coffee.
Maybe I could find a straw and see if we can get it through a hole in these packages, but it wouldn’t be that good
At times we often live life like that holding tightly onto everything and trying to also live the life God wants us to live.
Sometimes we will try to have both what God wants us to have and hold tightly onto the things we have picked up throughout life.
But I have an idea Andy.
How about I take some of these packages from you?
How about you drop the rest.
Really what is better is if we let go of things.
This includes handing things over to Jesus for him to deal with
And it includes dropping those things that hinder the life God so that we can be fed and take part of the life God would dearly love us to have.
Now Andy you can start enjoying your coffee
Now in today’s Gospel reading from John chapter 12 this is what Jesus was on about.
In John 12 verse 25 and 26 and Jesus says
25 The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
One of the biggest challenges in our lives is letting go of the things that hinder us in our relationship with God and each other.
Sometimes we may feel we have a right to hold onto some of the packages in life,
But in fact what is best is that we let go of them.
For around 10 years I had a deep heart for a couple of people.
I wouldn’t forgive them.
I wanted to sit on them big time.
Regularly I would think of ways of how to get revenge for the hurts they had inflicted on my family.
They had made us suffer.
I felt I deserved to feel this way and seek revenge.
Fortunately someone said to me Richard do you realize that they you holding you holding on to this is hurting you far more than it is hurting them.
They have probably even forgotten about the instance.
But you are holding onto it and it is affecting how you see them and the group of people they are part of
And you are not getting fully on with life.
Each of us have packages we need to drop or let go of so we can take advantage of the life God is giving us.
Now to understand this text a bit better we need to understand the situation Jesus was talking to…
At the start of our reading we hear
17 Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. 18 Many people, because they had heard that he had given this miraculous sign, went out to meet him. 19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!”
20 Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the Feast. 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus.