The Rev’d Roper Elks
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Hello. I wonder if you know how to give up on something or when to give up on something. I’m not very good at giving up on things, particularly old cars. I don’t have an old car, but I’ve had a series of old cars in my life. And even when they go wrong, I see it just as another part of life’s experience, of learning how cars work as we get them repaired. Liz, my wife, isn’t so keen. When do we give up on things? When we give up on a relationship maybe that seems to be making no progress and is harmful to ourselves or to others. Will God ever give up on us? Now there’s a question, isn’t it? Will God ever have had enough with you and me? Well, let’s read this passage for today. It’s from John, chapter six, beginning verse thirty five.
Then Jesus declared, I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All those the Father gives me will come to me and whoever comes to me, I will never drive away, for I’ve come down from heaven not to do my will, but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent to me that I shall lose none of all those he has given me but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s world is that everyone who looks to the sun and believes in him shall have eternal life and I will raise them up at the last day.
So as I said, I don’t like giving up on things, I would prefer to mend things than to replace them. I guess eventually, though, I do have to give up on old cars, on old shirts and things that just eventually have no more use. And most normal people are far less tolerant than me and will replace something far sooner.
Now we tend to think that God is like us. It’s funny, isn’t it, because we are made in His image, not he in our image. But we tend to put it the other way around. We think that because we give up, God will give up on us. But that’s not true. That’s not what the scripture says. The Old Testament and particularly the Psalms, talk about God’s unending faithfulness. New every morning is God’s faithfulness and verse 37 of our passage says, one of the great promises that we could write down and put on our mirrors or in our cars or wherever else we want to look, in order to remind ourselves of this promise.
Let me read it to you. “Whoever comes to me, I will never drive away” John 6.37. “Whoever comes to me, I will never drive away”. What a wonderful promise that is for us to hold up.
You and I give up on other people. You and I often give up on ourselves, don’t we? We think of ourselves of no use at all to anyone. But God never throws us away. He never casts us out. Because He loves us and He has a purpose for us. Amen.
Our collect for today:
Risen Christ, you filled your disciples with the boldness of fresh hope. Strengthen us to proclaim your risen life and fill us with your peace to the glory of God, the Father. Amen.