Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Day Five – Sermon on the hill

Slightly out of my comfort zone, I agreed to give the sermon on church on the following Sunday.  Jenni also agreed to give hers at the assemblies of God congregation which I think was slightly out of her’s too!  Jenni did a great job pulling an idea together based on the Dunblane High School motto ‘Look beyond the mountains’. With her ‘bare bones’ I wrote my own sermon and by the time I was finished I was feeling a lot better about it.

Psalm 121 – “I will lift up my eyes to the hills – from whence comes my help?”

MONI MPINGO ONSE (said in a big voice)

“Look beyond the mountains”
This is a phrase important to the learners at Dunblane High School as it forms part of their school motto. My son Matthew will start at Dunblane High School after the summer and I hope that he will ‘look beyond the mountains’ as he studies hard to achieve his best.
But for all of us, we must also ‘look beyond the mountains’ to find a greater strength, love and faith in God and ourselves.
In Scotland, we have many mountains.  They are high, majestic and spiritual. Close to my home, we have mountains that I have climbed with friends and family. One of my favourite places to visit is a place called Glencoe where the skies are dark at night and the stars are bright. Just like they  are here in Malawi.  I have found spiritualism in the Glencoe skies that I have found here in the Malawi night skies.
But when we see the mountains in Scotland or the mountains in Malawi, we cannot stand in awe of them.  We must ‘look beyond’ and explore.
Firstly, we must look over the mountains for ourselves.  We must look high, look around, look above.  We as creatures from God must dream big, dream over the mountains.  These dreams will allow us to fill our lives with family and friendship. These dreams will allow us to work hard, achieve more. These dreams will allow us to follow the path that God wishes us to follow.
Secondly, we must go beyond the mountain of ourselves to care for others.  Our own mountain cannot stop us from helping those in need. Our own mountain must not stop us from lending a hand to a neighbour or the sick.  But it must stop us from putting ourselves first.  Our mountain must allow us to stand high and say ‘come to me brother, sister in order that I can help you’. 
In our Sunday School in Dunblane our children learn
‘To love God is to love other people, to love other people is to love God’
Finally, we must look beyond the mountain for the better way, the way together.
I have learned a Chichewa phrase
Mutu umodzi susenza denga
One head cannot lift a roof
How true is this?
For Jenni Barr and I, this is the reason for our journey to Likhubula.  Along with our steering committees, we are looking beyond our own mountains of Mulanje, Ben Ledi, and Glencoe to work together in partnership. We ask you here in this church, our congregation in Dunblane, our neighbours, our friends and more importantly, ourselves to find the time, commitment ,hope, love and faith to work together to make our world a better place for everyone.
Our motto in the Likhubula – Dunblane Partnership is Umodzi.  Let us make this our motto for life.
In Johannesburg airport there is a sign that says
If you want to go fast, go alone
If you want to go far, go together
We must remember that where two or three or four or twenty people are gathered, we do go together to go far.  But always  with us is our Good and Loving God.  If we set our sights beyond the mountain, we will find God, travel with God and be blessed by his Everlasting love.
Praise God and His Holy Word.

Fiona Anderson
July 2013  

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