The Rev’d Robert Warren
Many are called but few are chosen: Hard to sort out the good news from the bad here. On the one hand the net is cast wide and the message of invitation is sent abroad widely and comprehensively. On the other hand there’s a narrow gate and a small and winding path which not everybody takes - to their peril, according to this Sunday’s parable..
Sermons on the passage from Matthew's Gospel which we will be reading have caused more than one sleepless night across the centuries. Am I one of the few? Am I on the right path? In the words of the Tom Paxton song (sung best, of course, by Johnny Cash)
And I can’t help wonderin’ where I’m bound, where I’m bound
I can’t help wonderin’ where I’m bound.
People are always a surprise: Those who seem weak demonstrating great strength in the end and those who appeared most apt and capable giving up and caving in. I have no meter to measure anybody around me in terms of their final destination and how the Master of the Feast sorts us out at the end. As the song says in its opening line: “It’s a long and dusty road”. There is hope in every instant.
What I am most aware is that we are all being sorted out right now - in the process of living the lives we do and keeping our eyes on the prize in the midst of a world filled with both the best and the worst of charms and inclinations. Something is being looked for in us - the turning of one out of a crowd of ten healed persons who returns with thankfulness to the healer, the young men who leave their father’s business to follow the Rabbi, the one hand in the crowd which is raised, the one who says “Me, Lord, that’s me. I’m the one who wants it, I’m the one who’ll stray off the main road and who’ll stick to the narrow path”.
I would suggest that teachers and priests, coaches, trainers and mentors all have their eyes open for that one moment when a man or woman breaks from the crowd because what pushes them from the inside becomes stronger than what holds them back or returns them unchanged yet again to the common lump.
If you’ve been “...wonderin’ where you’re bound” then you know and have felt the question which Jesus poses as he sorts us out in the midst of this life. It doesn’t bear repeating here. You may even know what you need to do.