"There will be one flock, one shepherd." Jesus came for all, not just for many. Perhaps it is natural that we desire to make his love more exclusive. It makes us more special. But did Jesus make us God's children, or did he reveal a Parent who was ours all along? We were created to be one people. We are one people. It is time we started acting like it.
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Jesus: The Ultimate Get Out of Jail Free Card! Seriously, are we really this stupid? Do we honestly believe in a God who would demand a blood sacrifice in order to forgive us? Unfortunately, too many of us do, because that is easier than having to truly repent.
Sunday, April 15, 2012
"Have you come to believe because you have seen me?" Do you only believe because you have evidence? Once again, we see the flaw of the resurrection, for it is the ultimate evidence. God gave us such things to help us believe in our youth, but what did kind of faith did they lead us to? We use many training wheels as children. It is right and proper that we grow out of them. It is just as good that we grow out of our need for evidence to support our faith. "Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed." Blessed are those who have no evidence, yet still see God.
Sunday, April 8, 2012
It was meant to be the ultimate proof. But what exactly did the resurrection prove? That the love Jesus expressed was true? Or that we would never have bothered to listen to him without a flash of light? What if the resurrection never happened? Would Christianity exist? Would God still love us? What kind of children are we if this is the only way our Parent can get our attention?
Saturday, April 7, 2012
Tonight we recount salvation history, but we also reveal the growth of faith. Once we were children, who saw our Creator as a stern parent, with detailed rules and clear consequences. Like all children, we broke the rules and suffered the consequences. Our Parent scolded us, but always forgave us. Then we became adolescents: awkward, insecure, moody, selfish, arrogant, but also passionate, searching, giving, and loving. We demanded proof of our Parent's love and felt ashamed for asking. We wallowed in our lack of self-worth, while dreaming of true love. Now it is time that we become adults, who look our God in the eye and see Truth for what it is. We are meant to stand side-by-side with our Creator in friendship, not kneeling in blind obedience or cowering in terrified awe. We are called to lead lives of love and loyalty, not because of a command or fear of punishment, but out of a recognition of what is good and true. Salvation is not the future gift of a benevolent Creator to a chosen few, but the birthright from a loving Parent to all of their children.
Friday, April 6, 2012
Why did Jesus die? Most Christians say that he died for our sins. This is true, but not in the way they mean it. They claim that he died as a blood sacrifice to atone for our sinful nature. This is the stuff of adolescent drama: I'm so awful that only a great sacrifice will get mom and dad to love me again. What crap! It is time to grow up and face reality. Jesus died as a natural byproduct of human insecurity. He came "to testify to the truth," we were terrified by what he had to say, so we killed him. We do this all the time. Many will say that this reality minimizes Jesus, makes him less than God's true son. They say this because they are terrified of the other possibility: that it elevates us to his level, that it reveals that we are his true brothers and sisters, and thus true children of our Parent. "This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends." Jesus died because he refused to be anything less than our friend. It is time to overcome our fear and be just as good of a friend to our siblings.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
True religion is about community, not control or obedience. God desires a family, not a corporation. Look at what we are offered tonight: a memorial feast, a remembrance of friendship, and a model relationship. We are the ones who turn celebration into obligation, love into a rulebook, and siblings into strangers, not our Parent. But that is actually good news, because it tells us that it doesn't have to be this way. We chose to turn religion into a corporation. We can choose to make it different.
Sunday, April 1, 2012
The folly of great expectations: the people wanted a king, Jesus gave them what they needed instead, so the people killed him. If he came today rather than then, would the results really be any different? We think we know what this world is about, but we actually have our collective heads up our collective asses. Power, wealth, control, fame, security, amusement; they are all fool's gold. God had something much grander in mind when we were created. The time has come to embrace the entirety and enormity of our Parent's love, and all the things that come with it.