A Sermon for 4th Sunday after Trinity at the Danish Lutheran Church of Vancouver, B.C.

Dt 24:17–22
Ro 14:7–13
Mt 5:43–48

Now, as we are celebrating Midsummer and enjoying ourselves Jesus has some disturbing news for us: Love your enemies and be perfect!

Just be perfect!

These are the words form Jesus today.

It is very simple: love your enemies and love your neighbours.

And what an interesting example Jesus comes up with: For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?

Worst case scenario is apparently to be like a tax collector!

However, it is very simple today: do not judge anyone, just love them all.

In theory this command will actually make life so much more easy

Think how simple our lives would be if we never held a grudge, never complained and got annoyed with other people. Life would be so smooth if we did not spend our time and energy on judging others.

I am sure we all can come up with some suggestions and good examples of people whom we judge. People much more annoying than tax collectors...

Let me tell you: sometimes I get so mad when I think about how stupid other people act! I even find myself thinking about annoying people before I fall asleep and sometimes I spend more time thinking about annoying people, more time than I spend on celebrating good relationships with people whom I really love.

Let it go! I tell myself.

Let it go! Do not waste one minute on those who persecute and irritates you.

Let it go… That is just so much easier said than done!

These days we celebrate Midsummer, one of the crazier Danish traditions! Let’s get together and burn something!

Let us get together remembering how we in Danish history persecuted women, judged them to be evil witches and burned them alive.

And while we gaze into the flames we sing our old sentimental folksongs.

This is not a simple tradition if you have to explain it to someone not Danish.

Sankt Hans, this celebration is also about Saint John; John the Baptist. He was born 6 months before his cousin Jesus and God send him out to be a light for his path and make a way for Christ.

Now it has become our job to make a way for Christ and we are told:

Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you! Be perfect!

This is not definitely not easy.

This weekend Women in Saudi Arabia was allowed to drive. For more than 60 years women had to depend on their brothers or husbands to drive them. Female drivers would lead to sin and expose women to harassment.

There are so many jokes about women being bad drivers, but this ban is a serious persecution and a lot of women are still in jail, arrested for simply driving to work.

Just about a week ago I was driving in my car together with Karen from our church. And some of you know that Karen used to be a taxi driver.

I do not think about driving as a privilege, I just take it for granted and I am sure that Karen never feared for persecution in her driving years. We had a nice drive; our friend Boas was kind of a backseat driver on our way, but we all had a great day together driving around town! And on our way back we came across a billboard outside a community centre. It had an Amelia Earhart quote on it saying: The most effective way to do it, is to do it!

Amelia Mary Earhart was an American aviation pioneer and an author. She was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She set many records and wrote best-selling books.

She truly lived by her words: The most effective way to do it, is to do it.

Be perfect, Jesus tells us today! Just do it.

It is easier said than done and that’s is why these words are a command.

This is not a polite suggestion today.

It is the Lords command so that we may be children of our Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise both on the evil and on the good and sends rain on both the righteous and unto the unrighteous.

The sun shines on us all today; whether we like it or not.

So why spend time judging, why waste our lives being annoyed with others; lets just be perfect!

And the best and most effective way to do it, is to just do it.

Now we have all heard it, so onward then in the name of Jesus.