Ive got a small canvass for you this forenoon. Youll need to believe back to your childhood. Did you of all time, in the presence of a friend, inquire your female parent if your friend could remain for dinner? Raise your manus if you know you did that, or probably did it. OK, how about this one — did you of all time said to a parent “ This Canis familiaris ( or cat, or fish, or snake, or bug ) , followed me place — or I found this emmet, spider, bird, can I maintain him? ” Did you do that? Now raise your manus if you even mistily retrieve of all time acquiring yelled at for go forthing the front door unfastened. Amazing that we all made it to adulthood, eh?

I ‘m thinking that most of us would state that it ‘s of import to larn good manners. My female parent drilled into me the importance of thank you notes. If my cubitus should happen itself on the tabular array my male parent would jab it with his fork. In Girl Scouts I learned the proper manner to do debuts, respond to an invitation and put the tabular array. My grandma taught me about esteeming my seniors. In choir I learned the importance of being on clip. Before I was 10 I sure cognize what constituted “ good manners ” and what was “ bad. ”

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Think for a minute about from whom or how you learned these things. Who taught you to state please and thank you? How did you larn which fork to utilize? Who taught you how to agitate custodies? When did you larn non to talk with your oral cavity full? When did you larn the proper manner to reply the phone? Who taught you how to eat soup, when to get down eating or how to inquire to be excused from the tabular array? More than probably you learned these things from your parents, and more than probably you learned them at a reasonably immature age.

By my female parent ‘s criterions, Jesus and his friends did non hold good manners. Possibly it was appropriate in the twelvemonth one to ask for yourself over to a person ‘s house, but it was n’t in 1971. Make you retrieve the narrative a few hebdomads ago about Zaccheus? Did n’t Mary learn him that it ‘s non polite to ask for yourself over to person ‘s house? Then there ‘s this John cat that we start hearing about today — locusts and wild honey? Which fork do you utilize for that? ! And how about his ability to diss people? Do you believe his female parent, Elizabeth, had a word or two to state to him after he called those folks a brood of vipers?

I ‘ve got a extremist idea for you today: every bit of import as it is for us to larn manners at an early age, larning manners can cut down our faithfullness.

Today we will baptise the newest member of God ‘s household — . As her religion community, parents and Godparents, all responsible for seeing that she is brought up in the Christian religion, we want nil but the best for her. We want her to hold a life of significance, religion and passion. We want her to be successful, by her definition of success, non mine, her parents ‘ , or the universe ‘s. We want her to cognize the loving embracing of household and the caring community of a church in a universe that is safe.

But in order for some of these things to go on, we ‘re traveling to hold to unlearn some of the material that our parents taught us about manners.

Let ‘s get down with go forthing the front door unfastened. It may non hold been all right in your female parent ‘s house, but it ‘s required in this house. Our doors must be unfastened to everyone. If Jesus would hold eaten with them, they are welcome here ( and that ‘s everyone ) .

As for ask foring your friends over without inquiring anyone ‘s permission — you better make that here. Episcopalians are typically diffident about this sort of material. Fortunately, I ‘m wagering that most of you were n’t raised Episcopalian, so you did non larn this early on. It will be easier to unlearn. Invite your friends, enemies and coworkers to church with you! We need to travel out and convey people in — we ca n’t wait for them to come to us! God ‘s love is here, ready to be shared.

And that thing about something following you home — if as grownups we exercised every bit much comapssion for all God ‘s animals as we did when we were childs, this universe would be a better topographic point. Make you retrieve that bird with the broken wing that you stayed up all dark feeding with the eyedropper? Have you done that for anyone or anything as an grownup?

Jesus did n’t wait for an invitation. He went and got people and he met their demands. I do n’t desire Elise to turn up impolite. But I want us to larn something from her before she gets taught the proper manner to make things.

Cordial reception is at the top of the list when we talk about who we are as a church. Think for a minute about what happens when you go to person ‘s house for dinner for the first clip. Do they anticipate you to cognize where everything is, or do they give you a speedy circuit? Do they anticipate you to cognize which cupboard the spectacless are in and what ‘s in the icebox, or do they function you? Do they anticipate you to cognize all the other invitees or do they present you? It ‘s no different in God ‘s house — you are the hosts. For anyone who comes in the door here, you are their host — even if you are non the scheduled saluter or Ussher. Not speaking to aliens may be an of import regulation for a five twelvemonth old, but it does n’t use to the grownups here.

I do n’t desire to pick on my female parent, but she likely would non hold approved of Jesus ‘ friends. John wore what I think may hold been the first century equivalent of those bloomerss that seem to be falling off immature work forces ‘s rears, and he likely wore the first century eqivalent of a baseball chapeau at the dinner tabular array, excessively. And there are the rumours about Mary Magdalene. Not ‘our ‘ sort of people, or are they?

Elise, we want to remind you that at least here, at church, it ‘s all right to go forth the door unfastened, it ‘s all right to ask for your friends over, and it ‘s all right to maintain the bird with the broken wing. You can learn us how it is to be a kid of God. Amons.

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