Easter 6 (B)
Rev’d Philip Heak
Once there was a church that had the phrase ‘If you love me, you will keep my commandments’ on a sign above its iron gate.
The church and its message intrigued a young man, so he decided to go there on Sunday. He was not welcomed. No one spoke to him, or smiled, or offered him a handshake. After the service he left in a puzzled state.
As a parish, we like to think, or at least hope, that we are welcoming. That may well be true, but my experience of the pandemic, that churches seem to have been largely irrelevant to the news / media / politicians and world at large, makes me wonder.
Has it ever occurred to you that Sunday morning can be the most exclusive, segregated, and separate time of the week?
Many of our churches do not look anything like the communities that we live in, the supermarkets we shop in, or the places we go …
All week long we encounter people who are not like us, but often on Sunday we attend a church that consists mostly of people like ourselves.
Now to be honest, we don’t often do a great job of loving people like ourselves, so how are we to apply it to the majority of people who have no interest in church?
There are exceptions, of course.
But a lot of times, the love that our churches offer is a far cry from our reading, John 14:
15 ‘If you love me, you will keep my commandments