Ordinary Sunday 11, 18 June 2017 -Vicar’s Reflection
Do you remember the song Auntie Alice Brought Us This, by Hogsnort Rupert's Original Flagon Band? It was a hit last century. The chorus has these words: “Auntie Alice brought us this, not too late, not too soon, press it in the middle it'll play a tune…” We have all received gifts that puzzle us and perhaps disappoint. The intention may be sincere but the usefulness and aesthetics leave a lot to be desired. Perhaps the gift didn’t match our needs or desires or sense of who we are. The right thing to do when we receive a gift is to be gracious and kind and accept it out of respect for the giver. When Jesus sent his disciples to proclaim the gospel they were received well in some places but not in others. The Gospel is like that. It is the gift of God to humanity: some receive it well but not others, seeing it as deficient in some way, or too troublesome, or not quite fitting to their sense of self. As human beings we are God’s gift to each other. Do we receive each other graciously and kindly, out of respect for the giver? When God promised a child to Abraham and Sarah, Sarah laughed – perhaps with scorn because she and her husband were old. But God had the last laugh and gifted them a son, Isaac, who was an ancestor of Jesus the gift of God to all humanity and God had the last laugh.