The 7th Sunday after Pentecost

I read an Australian news feed summarising the issues of the day. There are times you can’t help but laugh. Yesterday (7th July) was World Chocolate Day. Today starts Diabetes Week (sponsored by Diabetes Australia). Were they accidentally together? Did Diabetes Australia choose the week knowing about World Chocolate Day or oblivious to it? (Diabetes Week UK was last month – 11th – 17th June.) Whatever the background, once known, I can imagine Diabetes Australia seeking to use the dates in a positive way for diabetes awareness (without denigrating chocolate!). Well, that’s what I think I would do!

Easter Sunday this year was April 1st. This day is popularly known as April Fool’s Day and the question could be asked by us of the world and the world does ask it about us, ‘Who is the April fool about this resurrection?’.

We make links between all sorts of things to help us find meaning and navigate our way through life. Humour often works on the unexpected – the ‘expected’ – the ‘links’ – are replaced by something else which surprise us – in a good way – and so we laugh. Surprises can also be good learning moments in life. You thought you knew someone, something, some situation – you thought you could predict what was going to happen next – and when it isn’t as expected, it causes us to reassess the ‘links’, what we thought we knew. And when this is done, we can learn and grow.

We link things together for convenience. So, for example, I understand our education system of aged base teaching in a factory ‘production line’ system for costs, economies of scale and the like but to my way of thinking a person’s ability to learn isn’t related at all to the time it takes the Earth to go around the sun! But that is how education largely happens. The same with intelligence. We tend to link speed and mastery of something as key linkages to deciding intelligence but there’s nothing to stop someone having their own theory of intelligence!

What are the linkages?

In worship, in practical theology, in the Christian Faith, I am always talking about words, water, bread and wine. Not any words but what is linked to Jesus – describing him, presenting him, declaring him accurately. Not any water, bread and wine but what is linked to Jesus and used in the ways he said. And because the Holy Spirit leads us to make such linkages then these encounters become performative, sacramental – something actually happens when we encounter them. If you don’t see the linkages then all this is weird, maybe magic, maybe even sad.

But through the lens of a cross and empty tomb, we now see that Jesus is with us, next to us, helping us, and definitely loving us in all of our life. Each day. And yes, that can make for interesting moments indeed in life; to be loved like this as we live our lives with all our choices. It can mean appearing foolish to the world because even at death, we can live as if death is defeated! And that’s got to be sweeter than even World Chocolate Day!