Bubbles and Reconciliation

“Life is a bubble!!”.......

I don’t know if anyone ever said that so I’m saying it now.....

because I think our lives are very much like bubbles,...........delicate , fragile, fairly strong yet vulnerable, beautiful, amazing and so colourful.....

They have a beginning...... when breath is breathed into them,and they have an end ...when the outer skin pops and the bubble vanishes, yet what was once inside .... remains!

Some bubbles are high fliers.......some rather heavy and weighted down, they seem to sink, have you noticed, and of course they’re all different sizes?

Some seem to float on for ages..... and some have such a short life especially when they meet obstacles in their path.

Some lead safe lives landing on the carpets with no harm coming to them at all~ for a while.

I loved bubbles when I was a young girl, and for that reason I am going to give this jar away to the first child who is able to tell me a CODE NUMBER...hidden in this sermon,

because that means that they will have been listening to every word I say.

But they will not win the prize if they tell me the number here in church, they must wait until I’m in the hall after the service! Do you all understand? So listen for the code number.

Life, however varied and however long it lasts, is still quite short and it’s for the living.

(Refer here to Scrooge’s song in our school production?

I’ve woken up to a brand new morning …

Said hello to a brand new day,

Life is short and for the living

I won’t waste my time today)

As Christians we believe ..(life) is a gift given to us just once .....and we must make the most of it.!

One of the reasons our lives may never seem to lift off, rather like those heavier bubbles, is because we can so easily get hurt and hold on to anger, bitterness, puzzlement and pain. Our relationships with others sometimes go wrong, even children can identify with this, in their schools, in the streets where they live..... and you know we never fully recover.

Sometimes people get very upset with us and fall out with us .....and they don’t properly explain what it is we’re supposed to have done wrong, and we’re left in the dark separated from them, wondering “ What did I do?”

And we’re almost afraid to ask in case we learn some unpleasant things about ourselves, and lose our tempers because what is being said is true.

One of the tragedies in life -- is not that things get broken....... but that they never get mended!

Listen once more to some words from the gospel reading this morning,

“If when you are bringing your gift to the altar

you suddenly remember that your brother(or sister) has a grievance against you, leave your gift where it is before the altar. First go and make your peace with them, and only then come back and offer your gift.”

These words of Jesus speak of his desire for reconciliation, in other words he seems to long for that which is broken apart to be healed and made whole. Not a surface ‘papering over’, but an inner wholeness and peace taking place, right down deep, under the surface.

Now you may be sitting here this morning, thinking “ I could never forgive that person for the damage they’ve done to me, my wounds go too deep, my pain is too great, to even think about making peace with them ever.”

Don’t feel guilty if you think that way!

Jesus understands, when we feel this way, fo he is one who fully identifies with us in our pain.

He experienced pain himself, when he was crucified. Who better to understand when we feel crucified too?

Jesus is closer than we can imagine to those in need of healing. He knows our innermost thoughts, and all our needs. So don’t be alarmed because healing processes take time.

It must also be said, that Jesus felt anger, he spoke out his truth whenever he witnessed injustice or hypocrisy... but he didn’t NURSE it.

Probably the reason he asks us not to nurse anger is because it can fester, and make us ill and the situation worse. But we must never be afraid to speak the truth, and stand for what we believe to be right!

Perhaps this scripture is more a recommendation than a command!

Perhaps it is advice for a better quality of life.

Forgiveness and reconciliation can also be difficult for those of us, who are by nature not

forgiving people.

I remember a line in a drama we used to do in a church group about forgiveness, it was a great line to say.. and it was connected to the part in scriptures where it says we must forgive our brother not only 7 times but 70x7..... that’s 490 in total , that would make a good code number! And by this number Jesus was saying forgive over and over again, be reconciled over and over again.

However this drama line I had to say was this

:-

“ 70 x 7 ? Well then . . . 483 more times and I’ll clock her one!”

That’s what we call ‘nursing anger’, keeping count of the wrongs, making a mental list .

What else has this gospel reading to say to us this morning? Let us look at it again,*

“If when you are bringing your gift to the altar you suddenly remember that your brother(or sister) has a grievance against you, leave your gift where it is before the altar.

First go and make your peace with them, and only then come back and offer your gift.”

Jesus himself demonstrated to us the first step towards making peace with others, when he actually became the gift left at the altar, making his own peace with those who had something against him, when he whispered with his dying breath:-

“Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing”

“Ah but it takes two really, to make a lasting peace,” I hear you say, ...... but you know it only takes one to make a first step.

Jesus took that first step, by uttering those words as a prayer on the cross: sometimes a little prayer is all it takes to make that new beginning for us. Jesus has already shown us the way.

Reconciliation is not a soft option.

Making up or saying ‘sorry’ is not a sign of weakness or cowardice. It needs real courage to take a first step.

If we want to spread God’s love, in our churches and in our communities, and if we have gifts to use for God, which He has given us; we need the breath of God blowing into us afresh, just like those bubbles, to fly even higher for him.

And finally let’s not forget how very colourful all of those bubbles were, big or small.

Like rainbows full of promise, with the light reflected fully upon them!!

This is the way God intended us to be.

To have life... and have it abundantly!