Dissipels van Jesus, saam in diens van God se nuwe wêreld

Dissipels van Jesus, saam in diens van God se nuwe wêreld

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29 September Dr Tinus van Zyl Taize Diens

Posted by Administrator (dbvgadmin) on Sep 30 2019
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29 September 2019 – Durbanville Gemeente

Taizé Service: Pilgrimage of Trust on Earth

Skriflesing:    Romeine 12:9-16a                 

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Woordverkondiging

Trust

Taizé:Pilgrimage of trust on earth. How do you learn to trust?

Suspicious

There are so many people telling us not to trust other people. We learn to be suspicious of other people. To be afraid of other people.

Competition

From a small age we learn to be in competition with other people. To be better or more successful than other people.

Fight or flight

It is our natural instinct to fight other people or run away and hide from other people when we feel threatened or afraid.

Hate evil, cling to goog

This paragraph in Romans starts with the command: Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil, cling to what is good. This is how trust is built. Hating what is evil and clinging to what is good.

What is evil?

Because what is evil? Evil is never ever the other person. Not even our enemies. Not even those who curse us and persecute us. The evil is never a person.

Evil harms

The evil is always that which harms other people. The evil is always that which oppresses people. The evil is that which shuts people out.

Religion

Religion can be evil. Religion can be evil if it harms other people, if it oppresses other people, if it shuts people out.

DRC

In South Africa, in this church, the Dutch Reformed church, there was a time when our church did that. It said that only white people are welcome here in this church building. That is evil!

Not the people

It is not the people in the church who were evil. They were normal, sinful people like us, who worshipped God, who loved Jesus, who read the Bible and asked for the Holy Spirit to guide them.

Father

It was people like my father – who was also a minister in the Dutch Reformed church – a man who devoted his life to spreading the good news of the gospel, and who started his ministry in the Transkei amongst the Xhosa speaking churches.

People are sinful

See, it is not people who are evil. People are sinful, they make mistakes, but tehy are not evil.

Ideas are evil

Ideas are evil. Ideas like: we belong here, but you do not belong here. Ideas like: those people are not like us. Ideas like: those people are our enemies.

Reject them

We must reject those evil ideas! We must hate those evil ideas! And we must cling to what is good.

What is good?

And what is good? Love. Love is good. Loving one another is good. The other person is good – even though taht person is sinful – even if that person is my enemy – even if that person oppresses me – even if that person does evil things.

Love the person

We should not love the evil things that person does – we should reject it, we should hate it. But we must love the person. We must cling to the person.

Image of God

Because that person is made in the image of God. That person is someone who is dearly loved by God. That person is someone who Jesus gave his life for. That person is someone who the Holy Spirit is calling to faith and new life.

Honour above yourself

Paul even says in Romans to be devoted to one another and to honour the other person above yourself.

God’s love

What that means, practically, is that if someone is doing something terrible that I don’t agree with, that I think is wrong or sinful or even evil, I must ask the Holy Spirit to show me and to give me God’s love for this person and Jesus’ grace for this person.

See the good

Honouring the other person above ourselves means that I will not think you are bad, because you have done bad things, perhaps you have even done bad things to me, but I will ask God to help me to see the good in you.

Share hope

Verse 12 says: Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  This pilgrimage of trust also had the theme: Together, sharing hope.

Fellowship

This is a wonderful thing – that we can share hope. Hope is something that we share with each other. Hope is something we find in each other – in our fellowship with one another, our caring for each other, our love.

Not in the world

Hope is not something we find in the world out there. We will not find hope in the news. We will not find hope in politics or in the economy. We will not find hope in our circumstances.

Optimism and pessimism

The only thing you will find in the world out there is optimism and pessimism. If something good happens in your life or in the world – like when you win a rugby match – you will be optimistic. And when something bad happens in your life or in the world – you will be pessimistic.

Not circumstances

But hope does not depend on our circumstances or on the events in the world. Hope is shared between people who love each other and who care for each other.

Taste hope

Hope is found in fellowship. We taste hope when sit at the communion table and share the bread and the wine.

Hospitality

Hope is found and shared when we do what verse 13 says: Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Philoxenia

The Greek word for hospitality is philoxenia – philo menas love and xenia means the stranger. Love the stranger.

Xenophobia

As South Africans we are so saddened and ashamed by the xenophobia  in our country – South Africans who not love the strangers from other countries but attack them out of fear and jealousy.

Confess

We must confess this terrible sin on behalf of our country and ask the rest of Africa to forgive us. Even though we did not do these things ourselves, we must have done more to build a culture of trust, of sharing hope, of practicing hospitality – of loving strangers – in our country.

Bless and curse

Verse 14-16 says: 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

Hierarchy

Often we position ourselves in a hierarchy – we think some people are above us and we think some people are below us.

Oppressors and lowly

So perhaps there are people, perhaps powerful people we think are above us, that persecute us, or oppress us. So then we curse them. But there also people of low position, that we think are below us, and we pity them, we think they are less then us.

Fortunate and unfortunate

Or perhaps there are people who rejoice, and then we are jealous of them, we think they are above us, because of their good fortune. And perhaps there are people who mourn, and we pity them and we sigh with relief that we are not as unfortunate as they are.

No above or below

But Paul says we must not curse, but bless, and we must not be conceited, but be humble; we must rejoice with those who rejoice and we must mourn with those who mourn. Because there is no above or below. We are all on the same level as we gather around the communion table. We all eat from the same bread and drink from the same cup.

Table of communion

And that is why we can live in harmony with one another. Because around the table of communion there is no above and below. All joys are shared and all sorrows are shared.

Sinners and beggars

This table is a table where we all gather as sinners. Around this table we are all beggars who are hungry and thirsty for the grace of God.

Feed our enemy

And that is why, when we stand up from this table of communion and go out into the world outside, we do not have to repay evil for evil, but we can give our enemy something to eat, when he is hungry and we can give our enemy something to drink when he is thirsty, because the Lord Jesus gave us the bread to eat and the wine to drink, when we were still his enemies, when we were still sinners.

Grace of Jesus

And that is only way that evil will be overcome by good in this world, by the grace of Jesus, that does not repay evil with evil, that does not repay hatred with more hatred, that does not repay violence with more violence and revenge, but that repays evil with love.

Only salvation

The only salvation there is for this world full of fear, hatred and violence, a world wherein people do not trust each other, is the grace of Jesus that rejects the ideas of hate and clings to the good in people.

Only way to trust

The only way to peace and harmony in this world, the only way to trust on earth, is the Jesus way, if we do the same unto other people as Jesus did unto us, and give our enemy something to eat when he is hungry and give our enemy something to drink when he is thirsty.

Only through this grace of Jesus will good overcome evil. Amen. 

 

 

Last changed: Sep 30 2019 at 1:17 PM

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