This post is part of the ON THE WAY sermon series at St Mark’s Anglican Church, Casino July/October 2022
The Rich Fool.
Well, we all know this story.
It is a story about that self-centred, greedy person who hoarded every success and achievement in life, and did not share any of his success with other people.
He was a creep.
We are not like that. Thank God.
At least, that is what we tell ourselves.
Yet this parable speaks to us as people, as a nation, and as a church here in Casino.
This morning, let’s focus on how it speaks to us as a parish.
During the past week, Parish Council made a brave decision not to be like that ancient farmer.
We have decided to reopen the OpShop.
To do that we have agreed to lease the premises at 85 Walker St. Most recently that has been the NORTEC site. Now it will be St Mark’s Downtown.
The Parish office will be there as well.
And so will the priest.
And the Churchwardens, as well as everyone who usually comes into the Parish office during the week.
There will be Jesus people down there—in and out—every moment of every day.
We shall all be downtown.
Not at the church, but in the Main Street.
That is a scary choice.
It may not work out.
(But how well is the current plan working for us?)
There are no guarantees of success.
Rather than build a bigger barn here at St Mark’s, we are going to take our church down to the main street.
We will create a place of welcome and hospitality.
The OpShop will help our community recycle preloved goods. That is a great thing to do, in any case. We need to break the cycle of our disposable culture. An opShop helps those who need access to quality items at low cost. It avoids good stuff going into landfill.
Stuff is able to be recycled.
People are also able to be recycled. By love. By acceptance. By finding a safe place to talk. By love.
St Mark’s Downtown will be that kind of place.
We cannot guarantee it will work, but it is better than building bigger barns and keeping the treasure of God’s love for ourselves. For our friends. For people like us.
Everyone time that someone feels safe coming into the new OpShop, God’s kingdom has come.
Every time someone feels welcomed at St Mark’s Downtown, God’s kingdom has come.
Every time someone opens their heart to another person, God’s kingdom has come.
Everyone a volunteers enjoys the opportunity to make a difference, God’s kingdom has come.
Every time that anyone feels valued in the space, God’s kingdom has come.
May your name be held holy.
Your kingdom come.