Wisdom of Solomon 7:21-8:1
The Kingdom of God is within you—among you, between you. Within you. Within you. Do you know the place? Have you found the way to that land of God that comes to us not in things that can be observed? That distant land, that land within you? That place closer to you than your own breath–and more distant than all stars. It’s here, it’s there; it’s not here, it’s not there—then, here it is again. It’s so easy to lose your way and then find it once more.
That land has a special atmosphere, a gentle breeze that is the breath of the power of God, a bright Spirit as of a reflection of the eternal light, as Solomon’s Wisdom put it. The bright Spirit of that place—within you—is more beautiful than the sun and surpasses every constellation of the stars. The only rain fall there is of a special quality, a quality of mercy, mercy that is not strained, but“… droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath.” As a poet once said. Mercy himself is enthroned within you.
Deuteronomy 32:1 – 4
Psalm 119: 89 – 96
Ephesians 2: 13 – 22
John 15: 17 – 27
One of the challenges for the preacher is to be able to say something intelligent on a feast day when there is very little from which to draw. Today is one such day. We can turn to Scripture, but except for a few references in the gospels and Acts, we won’t find much on either Simon or Jude. So that leaves the Tradition. What does the Tradition say about these two? Again we can’t say much about them, and certainly not much with certainty. If I were to preach a sermon based simply on what we know about both Simon and Jude, the sermon would be over by now, which may not be a bad thing, but none the less I will press on and see what we can make of them.