Tag Archives: Christ

today’s sermon: WWDD

We have entered a time in the life of our nation when faithfulness to the Gospel is about to “get real” as they say. The chasm between patriotism and discipleship is growing ever wider. Executive orders are being issued daily that are in direct opposition to the values of Jesus Christ.

The Gospel lesson for this morning is Matthew 5:1-12. It’s the Sermon on the Mount, also known as the Beatitudes. As I have struggled to prepare a meaningful sermon for my small and aging congregation I have tried to be open to the leading and prompting of the Holy Spirit.

I could not stop the tears on seeing this teeshirt,  Jesus as a refugee again brought home the ugly reality of authoritarian rhetoric being enacted into law.

I know that Jesus promises to bless us, I know that Jesus teaches us to live lives of love, mercy, nonviolence and compassion. The issue I am grappling with now is how to demonstrate that in a nation that is bowing down to one who ignores, even flaunts Christ’s example and teachings.

I know WWJD. What truly frightens me, is that I also know WWDD. The two are diametrically opposed.

I have committed myself to following the man from Nazareth. That means I cannot follow BLOTUS. I am truly saddened that many of my congregation are not able to make the same choice.

do something wonderful

Isn’t this our call as people of faith? We are to live in the love which has first been shown to us. Reflecting that love to others is what life is all about.

If we demonstrate Christ’s love to all those we meet (and the key word here is demonstrate), there are some who won’t understand, but there are others who will not only soak up that love but also share it.  Do something wonderful this week.  Do something that demonstrates the love that we call Emmanuel.

nonviolence is a lifestyle

Martin Luther King, Jr.:

Jesus said that if we hate a person we have already committed murder in our hearts. There are far too many of us who need to ask for forgiveness for carrying murder in our hearts.

As Christians we are asked to love without limits, and to be bearers of grace and reconciliation in every situation. We need nonviolent spirits. We need the peace of Christ in our hearts.

reality check

I have a real issue with this. We live in a world where over 20 of our family still die every day from hunger.  This, therefore, strikes me as obscene.

I think of myself as a practicing Christian, and for me such inequality is a matter of both basic morality and faithfulness to the teaching of Christ. Allowing any to starve, or even go in want, is unacceptable when we have means to prevent it.  It is wrong on every level.

Facts such as these serve as a reality check. Such disparity is a clear indication that we refuse to accept we are one family. Such statistics also demonstrate that calling ourselves followers of Jesus Christ is far different than living as one.

 

 

good advice from the 18th century

I get an almost constant stream of comments from many in my congregation that they would prefer  that my sermons were less political. My response is that if a sermon isn’t political it’s not relating to what’s real and immediate for us.

If our spirituality doesn’t help inform who we are as citizens we have created a false dichotomy. Our values should come from our beliefs. Those values should be what guide us in the choosing of  who we desire to serve us as elected officials.

John  Wesley stated it plainly. We need to exercise our freedom to vote. It’s a gift many do not enjoy. We need to vote for the person who most closely reflects our values. And then, we need to demonstrate the love of Christ and not engage in trash talking the opposition candidates or their supporters.

Personally, I have the most difficulty with that last piece of advice. As a disciple of Jesus I am called to be an ambassador of love and an agent of reconciliation. That makes trash talk off limits, and I admit I’m not there yet. It’s an area in which I am still working…

sacrificial giving for Lent

Today, Ash Wednesday, marks the beginning of the season of Lent. Christians around the world observe Lent as a time of introspection, sacrifice and preparation for the coming of Holy Week and Easter.

Traditionally, it’s a time when Christians “sacrifice” by giving up something during this period. Fasting from favorite food or drink has always been high on the list, as has abstaining from enjoyable activities like books or movies.

But Lent can also be a season of service, as well. What if Christians “sacrificed” personal time and gave that time to working with the poor in their communities? What if Lent became a season of joyful giving of ourselves to those needing a friend or companionship? Why couldn’t Lent become a time when Christians daily shared the love of Christ with those most in need?

The season of Lent can be observed in a variety of ways. For me, however, there’s no better way to prepare myself for the observation of Christ’s sacrificial love than to practice that love with the poor, the hungry and those most in need.