Remember, this is a love song

Peace Sunday
November 10, 2019
Isaiah 5:1-7

Remember, this is a love song.

God had taken some time with Israel first delivering them from slavery in Egypt then leading them to Mt Sinai and teaching them new laws. God spent an entire generation in the wilderness guiding them in daily trust in God’s presence and provision. God brought them into the land of Canaan, here again teaching them that conflict is resolved through obedience. Once settled, God gives them judges to help discern their new life together and respond to hardships. The people mature and while it is not God’s first choice God lets them choose a king and God supports this king. The people are secure and a Temple is built. Nothing has been better. Milk and honey are flowing.

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Full strides and half measures

[A sermon based on Galatians 5 preached Sunday November 8 at First Mennonite Church in Winnipeg]

I clearly remember my first encounter with what I guess could be called proper philosophy. In high school I was taught an ancient Greek story in which Achilles is running a race. As the race was going on one philosopher said to another, Surely before Achilles finishes the race he must pass the halfway point? There was of course agreement. The philosopher went on, and surely he will then encounter the halfway mark of that distance. Again, agreement.

But you can see where this is going. The question finally comes out, How can Achilles finish a race without first accomplishing the infinite task of passing through these half-measures? Now you might think this is the worst sort of abstract philosophizing and perhaps this explains something about my preaching but this story stuck with me and I think it is in fact quite telling.

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