September 2016

II Corinthians 5:16-17 (The Message)

Because of this decision we don't evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don't look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new.

 

Will Willimon wrote:

“When I preach, most of the people to whom I preach are over 50 years of age - I'm a mainline Protestant and our membership tends to be older than the average American, a great deal older.

I wonder how the median age of my congregation affects what I say to them in a sermon. I expect that most of my sermons stress peace, stability, and continuity because that's what folks my age value and desire.”

 

And yet peace, stability, and continuity tend to be values that are not found widely in scripture, particularly in the world after Jesus. When Jesus steps on the scene there is disruption, resistance, and controversy. One reason why Jesus got this reaction is that Jesus changes people. Jesus tends to move people to a very new, sometimes very frightening world. His challenge was not simply an intellectual one. It was also a "political" challenge - will you come forward, join up, and be part of a new realm?

There's no way to preach Jesus, and him crucified and resurrected, without preaching change, conversion, transformation, in short, a whole new world.

 

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