There is an old, old story of a farmer who with great sweeps of his arm scattered seed hither and thither across his land. Each was left helpless, thrown into corners they never chose to go, abandoned on land they never chose to take root: some among thistles, strangled between weeds, helpless over rocks, scorched on pathways and left there, left there to fend for themselves.
When the people returned from exile they rebuilt... but things were not the same as they had been. A new community needed new foundations, just like the new Temple would.
At the end of John's Gospel, Jesus' reinstatement and renewal of Peter after he had denied even knowing Jesus three times is a painful conversation, but a conversation full of hope for all of us. Jesus' instructions to Peter; feed my lambs, tend my sheep, feed my sheep, and the renewal of the invitation to 'follow me', are a manifesto for the church and for each and every one of us.
After a long and unsuccessful night fishing a man on the shore suggests the disciples throw their nets out the other side. It turns out the man is Jesus, but he's different. He's changed. What would our equivalent be? Where might we try something different? Where might we cast our nets? And where do we still meet the Risen Christ in our lives?
It's Resurrection Sunday!!! Easter Day. The Lord is risen!!! The tomb is empty... Love has won. It's a story of faith. Their faith and ours. Where will you encounter the risen Christ?
On Palm Sunday at St Ninian's we join the crowd and the religious leaders as they all wonder who on earth this Jesus really is. We read from John 10:22-39 and John 12:12-16.
Love... Agape. The kind of love God has for us and wants us to have for each other. Compassionate, tender and unconditional. And really hard to live out!
Romans 12 tells us what it look likes to live a life of love. But it's hard... really hard. And that's what makes it so important that we try our hardest and perhaps consider just how loveable we are.
Eros... erotic love... sex... one of the four Greek words for love, and part of the gift of love that God has given to us all. So why don't we talk positively about it?
In the middle of a water-based festival of thanksgiving Jesus stand up and says... "It's me! I'm the one you have been waiting for!". But the crowd aren't sure. I mean, he's not even from Bethlehem, is he?