Sermons on Jesus Movement
Living within the tension of what we believe the Kingdom of God is all about and the harsh reality of our world can be very difficult. We, like the many who marched alongside Jesus on the descent into Jerusalem, imagine a better world, one where love rules, where truth prevails, where people are respected, where voices of the innocent are heard, where the vulnerable are protected, where reconciliation is the only option, where God’s dream of love becomes real.
When we “brush up against grace”, in all the many ways it comes upon us, we are invited into our own grief work, into our own places we need to offer or receive forgiveness, into our own truth telling, so that the resistance can melt away until we find our truth, the truth of God, the truth of the way of love, that we will take to our graves.
There are times when I get exhausted from the constant pull of the Holy Spirit to shape and remake my heart and soul, so that I can be more aligned with the will of God. I imagine you do too. There are times when I wish I could escape for just a moment back into my Sunday school faith and believe it is as simple as believing Jesus loves me. I imagine you do too. There are times when I want my life to be simpler, when I wish I could compartmentalize my life into church on Sunday and the rest. I imagine you do too. But I know that’s not my life as a Christian. Rather it is to be deeply fed by times of silence before God and in spiritual retreats, by receiving the prayers of our healing ministers, by finding a group of spiritual friends with whom I can wrestle with the issues of today set within our three-legged stool of scripture, tradition, and reason, so I can continue the hard work of discernment of God’s new revelation among us that instructs me how to faithfully live in response to the movement of the Spirit.
Jesus’ surrender on the cross to the power of the Roman empire was an expression of divine power. In that action, he took control of the heart of this world and we continue to live out Jesus’ death and resurrection. The power of love conquering hate. The power of peace conquering war. The power of justice uprooting injustice in our society. Jesus would not take on the warrior mentality. Jesus refused to believe that the only way to end oppression was to become the oppressor. Jesus gathered people together, Jesus released the power of the Holy Spirit to nurture their souls and to change their lives, Jesus proclaimed the message of love, and Jesus saved us from our human tendency to fight back. Jesus built a movement of love, kindness, and compassion and invites us to follow.
At the root of this parable is a message about the stewardship of our resources and the impact this has on our relationships.