Talk for young people and adults
So today we had a tree that does not know what it is. It is confused, it gives all kinds of fruit, but we don’t know if it is an apple tree, a banana tree, or an orange tree.
And then Mr Sheepy….well he seemed very suspicious. We all think he was actually a wolf!
And in our Bible readings, we had God promising to send a great leader like Moses. That person was Jesus.
But he also warned us. If someone came and said “I am the great leader, follow me and worship apples” or “follow me and worship a carrot”, then we know that person cannot be trusted.
We must watch people and believe what they do, not just what they say.
In our reading, Jesus was teaching and healing people. However there were also teachers and scribes, but they were very boring and did not heal people.
Who do you believe? The boring people who did not heal, or the man who said good things and did good things?
So we must make sure that when someone tells us something, that we test it and make sure their behaviour matches what they say.
And for everyone here, for the adults, we need to be on our guard and to monitor information we receive and assess things to work out if something can be trusted or not.
If someone speaks and says things, and then does things that match what they say, like Jesus in the gospel, then that person is credible.
Others, who say one thing but do another, are essentially hypocrites.
This does not mean we cannot ask questions, and it does not mean we have to accept on trust people who suddenly appear and seem to do a few good things. We absolutely must ask questions, it is our duty and mission to keep the children safe – so we must check and make sure only safe people can be with them. That’s what safeguarding is about.
And on the spiritual level, we must ask questions, even when things seem to be good. Thankfully we have the Bible, we have church history and tradition and teaching over the centuries, and we have our own sense to help guide us. Using these together can help us work out if something is from God or not.
Recently a number of big names, people many thought were great men of God, real heroes, have been exposed as frauds. Just because someone says the right things, does not mean they are real.
We must have transparency and know people at a deep level. If the person is hard to reach, and does not serve the most poor people, and avoids contact with ordinary folk, and is earning big money, then that person is on a dangerous path. How can there be accountability if the person never meets real folk, and never socialises with ordinary people and normal problems? How can we trust leaders who never mix with us, who nobody knows?
So let us keep walking the paths of our ancestors.
Let us trust in the bible and our Christian teaching.
Let us use our own common sense.
And let us keep walking with and meeting the poor and weak, and continue to be generous; for then we know we are on a path of righteousness.