What do you do if something goes wrong?
Or if things aren't going the way you hoped
Are you one of the "fixit" brigade?
The fixit brigade are the great many people
whose first inclination is to DO something
If things aren't quite right - then we need to act
In the right circumstances that can be really good.
If you have a hole in the roof and the water is pouring in,
then doing something is a good idea
But it isn't always good to be part of the fixit brigade.
Sometimes the situation isn't a problem to be fixed,
but it is just something that isn't quite right
A friend of mine was going through
a really difficult health time some years back
and the hard time was - as is often the case with health issues -
as emotional as it was physical.
She was part of an active church, with an active pastoral care team.
And for the entire time she was unwell,
a casserole would appear on her doorstep every day.
She came to hate casseroles.
And to this day, the taste of certain casseroles
brings back memories of a really hard time.
And as well meaning as the pastoral care team was
its response was of trying to fix a problem.
This person is unwell.
She cannot cook for herself or her household.
We'll fix that.
Jesus' disciples had a sense of frustration
about the way things were going.
Jesus heals people - and gets into trouble for doing it on the wrong day
His disciples tell him that he is the son of God -
and he tells them angrily not to say that
His own family comes down and tries to remove him from his ministry
because they think he is crazy
Things aren't going as well or as quickly
or as effectively as they should be.
The movement of God is just like someone scattering seed
and then going off to bed
And the seed sprouts, and the farmer doesn't know how it happened.
Or it is like a tiny little seed that gets put in the ground
and then it becomes a pretty big shrub, so even birds can nest in it.
It's OK guys. Chill. The world isn't really just problems to be fixed.
I have 3 pots of bulbs at home.
On the same day, I put soil from the same bag into each
I put bulbs of the same type of flower
from the same purchased bag into each
I put the pots next to each other in the same part of the garden
When I water one, I water them all
Two of the pots have strong stems shooting through the soil.
One does not
That third one just might not ever sprout. Or maybe it will - later.
Now as an aside,
I wonder how many of you have planned what advice you can give me
to fix the problem of that third pot?
Are you part of the fixit brigade?
If you have ears to hear, then hear
In other parts of my garden,
I have passion fruit vines growing where we never planted them
and every year we end up with tomato vines growing
and God only knows how they got where they are sprouting!
How frustrating for those of us in the fixit brigade to think
that the best thing we could do sometimes to advance the movement of God
is to take a nap. Actually I quite like that idea
How strange would it have seemed to that pastoral group in my friend's congregation
from all those years ago
to think that the comfort of God
may have been made more real in that situation
by sitting quietly with my friend, even without a casserole in hand.
We are an action oriented people, aren't we.
The heritage of the Uniting Church -
which has very much set its culture -
is of 3 denominations who were all extremely socially activist
The ethos of this congregation is to make a difference.
To do stuff that changes lives.
But with what shall we compare the movement of God?
It is like someone who got some unused tomatoes
left over from their cooking plans
And then threw them randomly out the kitchen window
and who ended up having tomatoes for years after that
Or it is like someone who carefully planted mint in their
and then left it alone. And now the mint is everywhere they look.
Or maybe it is like someone who took a snare drum
along to a train station
just to see what would happen if they started playing a familiar rhythm
If you have ears to hear, then hear