Truly the Holy Spirit has gathered us here today we may worship and praise our Lord Jesus Christ and remember the Gospel that He has given to us, and the freedom that He bestowed upon us. Why does the apostle in this epistle today tell us that Christ has torn down the middle wall that separated us and abolished the ordinances and the laws of commandments that were set before us, yet Christ said "I did not come to abolish the law that everything would be fulfilled" and that "not one jot or one tittle of the law would pass away until all things were fulfilled." The answer is that all things are fulfilled in our Lord Jesus Christ, that the fulfilment of the law is righteousness not punishment. Our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ has fulfilled all righteousness for us, on our behalf. He has also told us the actual meaning of the law and given us the very foundation stone the very hinge upon which the law and the prophets would rotate: love of God with all of our being and love of neighbour as our self. This is all the law and the prophets, and this is what the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ has given us: We have been liberated from the bondage of law and set free into the glorious freedom of divine grace, for we have been given grace in place of law.
But what about the woman who touched Christ's garment, because this is also a great revelation to us. Our Lord Jesus Christ is crowded about with many people all of whom are physically touching him and as Peter said “how can you ask who touched you? Everybody is touching you!” Yet in all that crowd only one person touched Him, brothers and sisters. We repeatedly draw near to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ Who is always with us, but how many of us reach out and actually touch Him and in return are touched by Him.
Brothers and sisters, we come close to our Lord Jesus Christ when we come together in this temple but how many of us can truly say that we reach out with our hearts and touch our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? How do we yet contrive to teach fear, and how do we yet fail to perceive that a living faith is a release from fear and an assimilation of the righteousness through grace that Christ Jesus has offered to all? This is why He says that faith has saved you and this is why the holy church has appointed that we read this apostle and this Gospel reading together; so that we might understand that the law is set aside by faith in the righteousness of Jesus Christ and in all that He has done for us. Can we not see and hear that Jesus Christ has raised us up above the law and sat us upon the higher ground of grace through faith. Have we not seen the great things have been done through faith? St Anthony The Great turned the dessert into a garden of beauty of spiritual delight a garden of salvation. Through faith all our fathers and mothers came through the Red Sea of the Communist Era and, coming out on the other side we see faith triumph over all these powers of the earth. The law could not ever have delivered anyone through the Red Sea neither the Red Sea of Moses nor the Red Sea of the Communist Era. Law could deliver no one but faith brought us through faith brought the Hebrews through the sea, through the desert and into the land promised. That same faith carried our fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters through the epochs of the great wars, through the wilderness of the Turkish era and the sea of Communism into the light of re-birth, into a resurrection of the Church. It was not by law, by rules or regulations that this triumph shone forth, but by grace through faith. Nor can the law cannot help us now. The law cannot give us the strength to persevere in the world around us but faith by grace can give us the strength for all things in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
We must, however, not replace grace with law nor in any wise allow law to rise above love. Let us abide in those governing things which are necessary by rules and regulations and laws, and let us observe those things which we follow and observe in faith with a pure heart knowing that these things are of benefit for us. Let us not, however, fall into the delusion that they are the burden of a new law that, they are the burden of a new set of regulations or new ordinances, all of which have been set at nought by our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross when He fulfilled all righteousness for all of humanity and broke down the middle wall between us, the middle wall between God and man. As God, He became man, as man He Remained God, so that in Him, the wall vanished as God and man were united in Him.
Why, therefore, do so many rummage through the Scripture, both the Hebrew Scripture and the New Testament, looking for bludgeon, in the form of law, that deadens the medicine, in the form of grace, so that we can assault people who are different than us? Why should anyone “prooftext” Scripture in order to beat down others and exalt themselves? Why should anyone wish to fall again under the crushing burden of the Law, rejecting the fulfilment accomplished by Christ Jesus, or push others under the burden, as if pushing them onto the railway track before a train? Is it not because they have become enmeshed in “religion” instead of becoming bathed in faith and grace? Brothers and sisters let us renew our struggle in the faith, let us put aside rigidity of religion and turn towards the glorious saving healing experience of a living faith in the Living God. A true and living faith, unencumbered by the burden of law cause us to reach out and truly touch our Lord Jesus Christ instead of simply being part of a crowd that throngs round about Him and uses His name to none effect. Let us rather strive to be people that actually touch Him and feel the healing power that comes from that faith that has encouraged us to reach out to Him with our hearts, and to reach out to our neighbours with that same heart.
In this time and this place, let us reach out and touch Gospel and, through grace, understand what it is telling us. Let us not become guilty of exhausting much energy and time attempting to use Scripture as a weapon to injure and hurt other people, but assimilate it for what it has been given to us for: to heal and to raise up, to liberate us from the bondage of the law and break down the middle wall not only between God and man but between human and human, neighbour and neighbour, and restore us again to the joy of unity with our Creator who loves and cherishes each one of us and with the rest of humanity, knowing that each and every person is personally, objectively loved by our Lord, Master and Creator, by our Saviour Christ Jesus. Amen.