St Matthews Digital
22 September 2019
Mercy not sacrifice
Archbishop Don Tamihere preaches on St Matthew’s Day 2019 on the Christian practice of mercy
Archbishop Don Tamihere
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Mercy not sacrifice
Tonight, I'm here to Calcutta, vitoria coma Ikea. Qui internet era. Kotaku Steven to me to me how to kill korekado. Get fun. Even when you tell her what song I knew. We forgot her out in a Tangy. No hotel tonight and he will match it up. Wherever the fuck off a title for Community Theater more time.
The crew of the papa like a kooky otaku. Ha Queen of the kaingaroa or Tarawa Hotel. What are their name on you? For 2008? Immediate Care cutter cutter before I begin, please turn to your neighbor and say I'm glad the old blacks one last night.
I hope I haven't ruined that for anybody.
Helen. It's a real joy to be here with you all today. I know we've extended the invitation in the past and I haven't quite been able to make it, but I'm glad to have been able to come today.
Partially and one reason for, that is by my presence. I just wanted to acknowledge in a small way, both you and Stephen for the work that you do, not only here in this parish and for this congregation, but I'm thinking, particularly of all the hard work that it's even has done for taking the Marty in recent years, and I just want to acknowledge you all for all of that here in front of the congregation, but also to be here, and to acknowledge st. Matthews itself. The famous congregation the congregation that has quite the storied history. All the way from William Hobson down to the connections and Nelson Mandela and the fight against apartheid and all the way to this day standing with those that might be deemed otherwise as marginalized within our society. But within the kingdom of God has been front and center.
For the receiving of his love. So just really am grateful for the invitation and grateful to be here today.
Killed Arthur Our Gospel. Today is a well-known one. Jesus is caught, he is caught associating. With people that he should not be associating with and he's reminded isn't he? He's reminded by way of a loving family that he has disagreements with that constantly approached him with Criticism and complaint and condemn his action that he would dare to dine with Sinners. And so he responds in a very Jesus like way with a teaching of the Gospel, I desire Mercy. Not sacrifice.
You know, there should be an epiphany moment, there should be a light bulb that goes off within us when we hear such a teaching But it may be that that's not the case, it may be, that we don't understand what Jesus is saying when he says, I desire mercy and not sacrifice.
Is it because we don't understand either of these things, we don't know what Mercy is. We don't know what sacrifices.
It might be worth exploring just a little bit.
When we think of sacrifice, we can come at it. Of course, as we always do with a modern mind and think of it in a modern way.
We are a society that puts each other Under Pressure to sacrifice the sacrifice time and effort. We see that as a virtue that you would sacrifice giveaway lose your time and your effort. Hopefully, it's a noble causes usually just to work and earning a living But never once, did we question whether or not that is indeed a noble task?
Labor, that has no limit.
In labor that has no reward was something that the Bible called slavery.
Today we call it employment.
It was the same thing that triggered the Exodus. There's a lesson there, if you're willing to hear it.
That's not what Jesus meant.
You might say, well, if I wander Through the Bible, I see a different kind of sacrifice.
I see people taking turtle doves, and lambs and Rams and goats, and sacrificing them at the altar. Is this what we should be doing then?
I desire Mercy. Not sacrifice.
It was quite the practice in the ancient times to sacrifice something that you owned something that you possessed and therefore were able to demonstrate that you were willing to lose something in order to honor God.
This found its way unfortunately. Unfortunately, to more extreme situations with people would sacrifice their own children, the prophets of Baal would allow that to happen as part of their ritual and the worshippers of moloch would do the same.
Even Abraham was called to mimic that action. But we must remind ourselves that was for a different purpose.
Because ultimately, when he was prepared to go through the same sacrificial action as all of the other Pagan worshippers did it was a messenger of God, who stopped him and said, no, stay your hand. The Lord will provide It was a very quick lesson in reminding, Abraham and reminding all of his descendants in the faith that children are not our positions. They are not our Chatters. They are not things that we should consider that. We ever have the power to sacrifice.
They belong to God, and we should honor and respect them in that knowledge. As the psalmist said, children are a gift from God and inheritance from the Lord. I'm sure those of you would teenagers. Might beg to differ.
but the lesson remains all the same But this is not the understanding of sacrifice that Jesus was referring to.
And even then it is not the thing that he said, he desired.
We need to put sacrifice to the side. This is not how we honor God, because it is given only from our small limited world. And understanding it is not enough to honor the maker of all Heaven and Earth.
If sacrifice is not the thing.
And mercy is instead. What do we know of Mercy?
It's a word actually that we don't use that often in modern language.
To be merciful.
And unfortunately, we are associated again with very human instincts.
You might consider them Mercy is something that a king shows a subject or a judge shows to somebody who is about to be sentenced and mercy in that context is an exercise, isn't it of human authority. It more often than not in that scenario takes the form of pity.
Did we have power over the pitiful?
It may also take the form of arrogance.
That we have the ability to change your future when you do not.
But this brothers and sisters is not the mercy that Jesus is talking about. Thankfully, the prophet Micah gives us a hint in chapter 6, when he says, how then should I approach the Lord?
Should I sacrifice my Lambs should I give of what I possess will? The Lord be pleased with a sacrifice of a Thousand Dreams and rivers of olive oil.
But but the prophecy the prophet said instead God has shown you o human what is right? And what the lord requires of you to do justly to love mercy and to walk humbly before God, Micah is trying to teach us something, the mercy that God requires the mercy that God desires to see within us is couched Tween, humility. And justice.
You see Mercy without humility.
It's floured up, pity, and mercy without Justice.
Is nothing more than charity.
And there's nothing wrong with Charity, but charity has its limits charity as they say. In the end is only an investment in the prison.
Without Justice. There is no future.
And so, Mercy belongs between these two things Justice in humility Justice and humility. But even then, even then, that's not quite what God has in mind. We have to look to Jesus again, to teach us. We have to look to the gospel again, to show the way.
It was when a teacher came to Jesus with a question and asked Rabbi what is the greatest commandment in all of the law?
And Jesus said you should love the Lord, your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. This is the first and greatest commandment and the second is exactly the same. As the first you should love your neighbor, love for God and love for neighbor. These things are twinned. They are the same.
How is it the writers of your crystals? Say that you would profess to love God when you cannot even love the brother and the sister who is beside you?
And so the teacher wishing to justify himself said, Lord, who then is my neighbor.
And so Jesus teaches through that wonderful parable of the Samaritan that you and I know so well a man was walking from Jerusalem to Jericho a dangerous path way down the side of a mountain and he was beset upon by robbers and bandits and they beat him up and left him to die on the side of the road. And then a priest walked past Jesus was very deliberate with the naming of characters in his parables.
And then a priest will past saw the Samaritan lying at death's door and walked past them instead.
And then a levite will pass one who serves within the temple. Saw the Samaritan lying there and didn't deign to offer him any help, but walked past instead But then another from the same file name from the same people from that same place, the Samaritan came along the one who the Jews hate, the priests hate the Levites hate and he gave help to the one who needed help.
And this help, we need to view and to understand.
It wasn't a charitable feeling, it wasn't a charitable donation but it was love, put into action, he tended to his wounds. He bound them, then he placed them on his own transport, his own donkey and took him to a place where he could rest and recover and he reached into his own pockets and he gave money to pay for the costs of the state of this invalid. And he said, if there is any more that needs to be paid for, I will return and settle the bill.
And tell Marty we have a word for that kind of behavior. It's called menarche tongue menarche Tanger is when you implement everything that is required to support and to nourish and to protect another.
and so, it was that Jesus said to the teacher who then Behaved as a neighbor.
And the teacher said Lord, the one who showed Mercy.
I desire Mercy, not sacrifice. I desire Mercy not sacrifice.
And I'll tell do New Zealand way of repeating this phrase might be to say I desire mannakee Tanner and not sacrifice.
I wish that your love for your neighbor was such that you would do everything within your power to heal their wounds and to tend to them and to provide for them and to ensure that the cost of that provision is covered.
That's what mannakee tongue is all about. This is the mercy that Jesus is talking about when he speaks of his desire.
ultimately, the thing that is wrong with sacrifice, is that it comes from our limited capacity to give The reason that the mercy that Jesus speaks of the love that he speaks of is so great and so much more powerful is because it is not ours. It is God's and it is therefore Limitless and it is, therefore always enduring and it is therefore unconditional God wants us to give what he is already given to us.
His love, his love that set snow conditions upon you. His love That Forgives all your sin has love that never chooses one to be greater and better than the other. But says, that all are welcome and all are equal in this place. I desire Mercy. Jesus said and not sacrifice.
Ultimately, the lesson is this.
We should love because God first loved us and we need to understand God's love that. It's more than just a feeling, it's an action and it's an action that we can come to understand very clearly.
The Apostle Paul wrote love is patient, its kind, it does not envy, it's not prideful, it's not boastful, it's not self-seeking, it keeps no record of wrongs, it never Delights in what is evil. It only rejoices in what is true, it can bear through all things, it can and do our through all things. God's love never fails.
Ultimately the list of this morning is a reminder to us that we should be found where God's love is.
The reason that Jesus was caught amongst the marginalized in the Sinners is because that's where God's love is most present and can always be found.
You should turn to your neighbor theme and say God loves you and so do. I killed a toddler?