Sermon for 6 September
As we listen for the word of God,
let us pray:
God of the outcast,
through Christ, you offer healing to all;
lead us to share your love with others,
that our faith may be seen
in the life we live,
for the sake of Jesus our Saviour. Amen.
(I got this idea from Peter Rollins, The Orthodox Heretic, pp. 3-9.)
Imagine a world, perhaps sometime in the future, a world in which it is illegal to be a Christian. Imagine we’re living in a slightly-future time in which the penalty for being a Christian is death.
In this world, if you were arrested for being a Christian would there be enough evidence to convict you? Would you be found guilty as charged? Or would you be let off and go free?
Imagine such a world…
[the prosecutor, walking to front from seat and speaking]
Silence in the court! Silence in the court!
Excuse me, we’re in the middle of…
Silence in the court! Or I’ll have you sent down for contempt!
[fumbles with papers]
Paul Walton, you are charged with that most grievous crime of being a Christian. If you are found guilty, the punishment is death. Do you understand?
Erm, well, I…
Do you understand?
The court has in its possession a number of photographs and sworn statements. You have been under surveillance for some time! These photographs show you wearing clerical robes, attending church, going to small groups and reading Christian books at the local coffee shop. What have you to say to this?
Well, yes, I am a Christian. It’s a fair cop I suppose.