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In the 12-Step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous there is a saying: “It’s very easy to Talk the Talk, but can you Walk the Walk?”    That’s the gist of Jesus’ challenge to the upright and respectably religious people of his day.  Their “talk” was good, but too often their “walk” [their actions] didn’t support what they said.  So Jesus countered Simon's self-righteous arrogance by comparing his actions with those of the woman he was being so quick to judge and discount. Turns out Jesus thought the woman of doubtful character was walking the walk better than the God-talking Simon!    

We’ve got plenty of examples of that in our day, also. Too much of what passes for religion is just “talk and show,” ... when it should be “walk and glow.”   A friend of mine described a magnificent religious “palace” that he encountered on a trip through Charlotte, North Carolina some years ago. High on a rise of land there stood the largest and most glorious modern cathedral you could ever imagine!  Turns out he was looking at Heritage USA, the former home of the PTL Club and the ministry of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker.  It was the most successful TV evangelism program ever in the history of the USA, bringing in $10 million a month before revelations began to leak out that the Bakkers were not leading the spiritual life they preached to millions.  They could "talk the talk," but didn’t "walk the walk" quite so well.  And how are we supposed to make sense of Christians who loudly defend their own religious freedoms while enthusiastically supporting politicians who propose limits or even outright bans on other religious expressions?  

Some of the political rhetoric that we hear being supported by supposedly religious people these days sounds remarkably like what the Nazis did to the Jews in Germany, ... or the Afrikaners did to the blacks and the coloureds in South Africa, ... or the Israelis and Arabs have done to each other, ... and ISIS is doing to those who do not follow their extremist version of Islam.  The “spirit walk” does not match the “religious talk.”  It seems that everywhere you turn there are people preaching things they don’t practice!  So where do we go to find people who can “walk the talk?”  Where do we find mentors [examples to follow] who model for us how we should live?  Who are the “saints” who inspire you?  Who are the people who have most influenced you?  That you want to be like?  Are any of them here at Wesley? 

You know, friends, there’s no reason that this sanctuary shouldn’t be packed full of people this morning; not if the Good News of Jesus Christ is being lived out here.  So, why isn’t our church full?  Why is it that so many of our own children have simply walked away from Christianity after all the time and energy we put into programs to raise them in the faith?  Could it be that our customs and outward “show” of religion have become of our focus than the spirit of love and service that is at the heart of Christian faith? What do people see when they come into our midst?  Do they see people who are alive with the Holy Spirit and celebrating God’s presence in their lives and sharing God’s love with one another?  Do they see us practising what we preach?  Do we walk the walk, … or just talk the talk?   Is our declining numbers the result of our brand of Christianity having been tried and found wanting, or because, although it has been wanted, it has been found difficult, and not tried by those of us who preach it, but don’t practise it?  Could Jesus have been referring to us as much as to respectable Simon? Is there anything about you and me, and how you and I live out our faith, that would attract anyone else to follow yours or my example?  “Talk is cheap,” so the saying goes. "Put your money where your mouth is," challenges another. “What you do speaks so loudly I can’t hear a thing you say,” proclaims the observing world.  "Talk the talk, but ONLY if you walk the walk," instructs the 12-step spiritual path.   

The story is told of a little girl who was afraid in the night.  There was a thunder storm, and at the first crack of thunder she screamed for her father.  “Daddy! Daddy!  I’m scared!”  Her father sleepily tried to calm her down: “It’s alright, Sweetheart.  Remember God loves you.”  The thunder clapped again.  “Daddy! Daddy! I’m scared!”  Don’t worry, Sweetheart!  God loves you!”  Another crash:  “Daddy!  Daddy!”  “Don’t be afraid, Sweetheart!  God loves you!”  “Daddy!  I know God loves me!  But right now I need someone with skin on!”    

Sometimes we need to see God’s love“with skin on.”  May those who come into our midst searching for God’s love find not only people who talk the talk, but also a community of faith with whom they can walk the walk, and where love overflows … complete with skin on!        

-- Rev. John Anderson

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Beautiful Stained Glass

Conveniently Located

Nestled in the heart of downtown Cambridge, only a few steps from City Hall and the Cambridge Farmer's Market.

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About Us

Wesley is situated in the historic civic square in downtown Galt, adjacent to the Cambridge Farmer’s Market, the historic City Hall, and the new City Administration building.
Wesley is part of the United Church of Canada, the largest Protestant denomination in our country. The United Church of Canada prides itself on welcoming everyone the way Jesus did, regardless of age, race, class, gender, orientation, or physical ability.

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Wesley United Church

6 Cambridge St.
Cambridge, ON
N1R 3R6

Office Hours
Tuesday to Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm

Phone

519-621-6060

Sunday Services

Beginning at 10:30am

United Church of Canada

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