In other translations of the Bible – the part of the passage read to us this morning about God knowing us as God formed us in our mother’s womb, is rendered as you knit us together.
These words were written to honour the creator God, who formed all of us, but they also resonate with many of us when we think of the Arts and Grafts group as co-creators who form a close knit family.
Thea’s first attempt (and only attempt) of making me a jumper was back in 1985, before we were due to travel to Europe in December for our first winter holiday. It was not only close knit – it was make with thick and heavy fibre – 20 ply fisherman’s wool – that sat on my upper body like chain mail and was so heavy I decided I couldn’t take it with me – I was worried that it alone might exceed our baggage weight allowance.
Here is another jumper (show green jumper) – it’s old and familiar, it’s used in a variety of circumstances – from gardening to camping – it’s close knit and it keeps the chills away. It protects me from the cold, it hugs close to my body and is closely united – joined strand by strand.
Close knittedness does not just happen – it is made, it is created, it is worked upon, it remains with us and for us.
This is part of the action and outcome of the bringing together of the Arts and Crafts group.
But, also as we read in Psalm 139, it is King David’s attempt to put words to the fact that we are made and joined close to the Creator God – whether we realise it or not.
And, like a good, old and protective jumper that hugs our body, God is always with us – interwoven into the strands of our very being. Amen.
1 John 3:11; 16-19
Not Just What You Receive But What You Give
When we share Holy Communion, the Eucharist or the Lord’s Supper (all terms for the same thing), we are remembering that Jesus gave himself to the world.
He gave up his body and his blood and we use wine and bread to symbolise that giving by him and the receiving by us.
Jesus, broken upon the cross, has shared his life, one life, so it could be multiplied and become the life-giving sustenance for people of all places and all times.
We believe that our little lives that God has knit together in our mothers’ wombs, are also to be broken and shared or given to others.
Through our small actions, relationships, sacrifices and gatherings, we have become bread for the community of people.
Someone once said – we make a living by what we receive, but we make a life by what we give.
Everyone here today, but we especially think of our folks from Arts and Crafts who have created and enriched the lives of others.
When we ourselves live in this blessed way of giving, we will bear fruit from generation to generation.
This is the story of the saints throughout all of recorded history. They died – yes! But they continue to be alive in the hearts of those who live after them.
It is Christ’s story, it is His-Story and it can be our story too.
In Galatians 6:9 we read the word we should all live by:
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people.”