What is Our Mission? Luke 4:14-21 14 Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. 15 He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone. 16 When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the […]
What is Your Dream? Acts 2:14-21 14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. 15 Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. 16 No, […]
We struggle with this idea of baptism and death going together, because we don’t think dying can be something positive. We don’t think dying can be a gift. But there are parts of us, and powers alive in this world, that need to die. That must die, if we are ever to fully know love and grace and community and freedom.
John is reminding us today that Christmas is not just for those inside of churches today. It is not just for those who sing the loudest to Christmas songs or wear the brightest Christmas sweaters or put out the most Christmas lights. It’s not just for the cheery people who seem to have everything going well. Christmas is for snakes. It is for those who have been left out. Those who others call scary. Those who think they have made too big of mistakes that no one can forgive.
Let’s join with God in flattening those mountains and lifting up those valleys and smoothing those paths, so that others can know peace, know joy, know love.
Jesus is the image of the invisible God. And the way he lived, the way he taught, the way he walked with people, cared for people, died for people is the way God loves us.
God has come into the world, take on our flesh, lived and healed, breathed, and touched, died and rose again, so that all the powers of evil, sin, and death would be conquered. We may not be strong enough to overcome sin on our own, but Christ is.
God may not always respond as we wish, but God never says, “I’m too busy. Stop asking. Instead, God says to us, I’m always here. And I always want to be a part of your life.
And that is what Jesus came to show us and teach us: how to love. Jesus’ very birth and life on earth was out of God’s love for the world. Jesus, who didn’t label which people deserved love and which didn’t, but welcomed, healed, and served all. Jesus, who out of such wondrous love for God and for us, gave his life on the cross, so we could all know God’s love which neither death nor life can separate us from. Everything Jesus did was to show us how beautiful love truly is. He wanted us to know that we are loved and he wanted us to pass that love on.
All around us is evidence of God calling us to generosity, to hospitality, to love and compassion. The problem is not that the message isn’t being told.