Grace and Peace to you,
My sisters and brothers in Christ
No matter how we feel foolish
Sharing the Good News
We should never ceasing praising,
Because God never gives up on us
And Sent us God’s Son,
How absurd is the Good News?
Can we share that the Kingdom of God is here,
That the Creator and Redeemer God loves us so,
That God sent God’s Son
To walk among us
To be us
To understand the frailty of the human spirit
And the struggle that drives us
In this quest to be loved
To be counted
To be heard
Remember the homework that I gave you?
To share the Gospel read
Challenging us to dig deeper and to shatter those barriers
How many of you were able to share the Good News,
The Good News that is right here
With your friends and neighbors
(Come on, let’s see those hands! Wait for the laughter and pause)
And when we are unable to share the Good News,
Is it because our spirit is poor-
Or perhaps the knee jerk reaction
Of our sisters and brothers
“Don’t tell me that Jesus died for our sins,
That Jesus forgives us,
Humanity can’t even begin to forgive!
What forgiveness are Christians actually living out?
All I see is remnants of a God who has forgotten God’s people!”
All our brothers and sisters in Faith, in Love, in Challenge see
Is the raw deal this life overflows us with-
The devastation and brokenness of where we live
The destruction of relationships and community
between those who love
The damage that illness visits upon whom we love
And so we seek comfort in the Psalms,
“Because you have made the Lord your refuge,
The Most High your dwelling place,
No evil shall befall you,
No scourge come near your tent.”
We have done what you have asked-
We have lived my life,
And still, we are fraught with worries of living,
Worries about how we can make this economically,
Worries about how we can make it out the door
Without someone taking their rage, their anger out on me
Worried about how we can dispel the stresses
That smother my very being
How can we God, carry out what you have called us to,
When we are worried that they can not see the reflection of YOU
And sometimes, even these Psalms,
The words fall from us like stone
“For He will command His angels concerning you,
To guard you in all your ways”
Where are the angels, Lord?
Where is my protection, God?
Have you forgotten your suffering servant?
“Jesus we have left everything,
Given up everything
Denied ourselves the comforts of this life,
Turned down status and wealth,
And followed you!”
Peter’s words haunt us from before
and now how absurd are these demands Jesus hears
In our Gospel text
“We want you do to whatever we ask”,
echoes from the disciples down to us.
How ridiculous, we say, to ask Jesus of this-
When Jesus asked of the disciples
To follow Him
To go into those places where people sat curled in corners
If God could not see the good in their hearts
And only recognized them by their sin and shame
The disciples did not want to tread where Jesus walked
The disciples wanted something in return for their service
And we, beloved
Can we SIT WHERE JESUS SITS TODAY?
“Are you able to drink the cup that I drink
Or be baptized with the baptism that I am”
Can you go into those places of pain and hurt?
Can you bear the anger and the discord?
Are you willing to serve and suffer,
Knowing that I suffering alongside you?
Knowing that the Son of man came not to be served
But to serve,
And to give His life a ransom for many?
For all of Creation?
Through an instrument of torture,
Would come Freedom
How absurd that we as followers of Christ
Cling to the Empty Cross
As a sign of God’s Promise
Empty because JESUS IS NOT THERE
JESUS steps out from the shadow of DEATH
And Jesus REVEALS HIMSELF
The Risen CHRIST stands with us in our suffering,
Our sorrow, our agony
How absolutely absurd
That God would love
A ragtag, grimy, forgetful people such as us?
That the Creator cradles us, as the fussy people we can be
When we are unaware of the whispers God fills us up with
When our journey blossoms into fruition
It is in those surprising moments,
We find ourselves firmly rooted in our faith
the power and the concreteness of the Gospel!
We may sound ridiculous,
Of believing in what we are unable to see-
Of proclaiming that one man bore the weight and the sadness
Of the Cosmos
Who died and was resurrected
But the Good News is,
God sees US
God believes in US
And God gives US
And even more ridiculous,
What will you do with your life?
What will motivate you to be that
Thanks Be to God.