We may not be in quite as bad a shape as Lucky but we can certainly count ourselves lucky. We are lucky to be here at King’s College. We are lucky to have this Chapel. We are lucky to have the opportunities offered by being part of both this school and this Chapel. You may not fully appreciate this right now but, believe me, you will. It is an opportunity that thousands of young people of your age do not have. So make the most of these opportunities.
We are lucky to have the opportunity to learn something about someone who has arguably made more impact on this world than any other individual who has ever lived, Jesus Christ, represented here in these magnificent windows. But we must open our eyes and see beyond the figure in the stained glass windows and see the reality of the man. It is difficult to deny the impact of the man. We are reminded of that every day. Why? Because our dating system is based on the date of his birth. That is quite something. There may be debate over the authenticity of various aspects of his life but as to the importance to this world, that is undeniable and that is what is important.
I want to make two points. Firstly, in our reading Paul makes the point that a genuine and true Christian community is built on faith and a love for all people. All too often throughout history and in the present people have not aligned their faith with a love for all people. So often people are judged and persecuted in the name of religion. Our history, both recent and not so recent, is littered with examples. If we genuinely believe that this Chapel lies at the heart of our school. If we genuinely believe in the values of our college, then we must practise care and respect for our fellow human beings. That means being kind to one another. That means getting involved in community service. What a wonderful opportunity. Don’t waste it.
The second point is this. I have here a piece of water melon. God is very like a water melon seed. Why? Because the water melon seed is all about power and mystery. It has the power of drawing from the ground and through itself 200,000 times its weight. That’s a mystery to me. And then it has the capability and the power to form a fruit of such vivid and varied colours, along with hundreds of inlaid black seeds, each one in turn capable of drawing through itself 200,000 times its weight. That is a mystery to me. God has the power to change lives. God has the power to give life itself. But God is a mystery. There are many things we don’t understand about God. But here at King’s we do have the opportunity to explore that mystery. Please don’t waste it.
Reverend Warner Wilder