For Kirwan Uniting Church Keep in Touch pew sheet 9 June 2019

It’s no secret that I love baked beans. Along with some other favourite comestibles, I see their existence as proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy  😊  The most recent tins which I bought are “English Recipe”. I didn’t know that baked beans come in different recipes, I can’t say that they taste any different to any other baked beans, they’re just a normal baked beany taste. I guess that it’s a marketing ploy to evoke imagined Pommie nostalgia for Marmite and deep-fried Mars Bars. But the “Whingeing Pom”, if s/he ever existed, was a creature of the 1950s. Nowadays, we’re grateful Poms, enjoying this wonderful country which is our real home.
The bible has four sorts of people who left one country or state of being to make their home somewhere else. The Israelites of the Exodus did a fair amount of whingeing. “We had plenty to eat in Egypt”, they whinged, clean forgetting that they had been slaves. While Ruth told Boaz that she would be not just his wife, but that “Your people shall be my people, your nation my nation”. And the apostle Peter (1 Peter 2) tells us that “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” Our citizenship is in heaven, the apostle Paul tells us via Philippians 3.
And then there was One who became a homeless refugee to make us that people of God:
He left His Father's throne above,
So free, so infinite His grace;
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam's helpless race;
'Tis mercy all, immense and free;
For, O my God, it found out me.

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