Sermons

In darkness, Nicodemus has come, seeking out Christ, the Light of the World, thinking that he has grasped the light, that he knows from where it came, and wanting to make sure that they’re both going in the same direction. But as he came in out of the darkness, into the presence of the Light, he was left disoriented and confused, struggling to make sense out of what is there in front of him.

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From His Baptism Jesus is led into the desert, as we too are led by the Spirit into the wilderness places of life by our Baptism with Him. It is a potent reminder in our day, that the Church too fond of power, place, and claims in the world, the Church bedazzled and bedeviled with the glory of the world is the Church no longer walking with Jesus. Baptism-Desert…Cross-Resurrection; that’s how the Church of Jesus Christ is shaped.

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When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.” And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.

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As Jesus does in His Sermon on the Mount, so the music of Superstar does. It jolts us out of spiritual complacency. Because these are very human emotions and expectations, human fears and anxieties sung in this now-classic work. Very human. Very real. Too real! Too human! And that’s a problem for a spiritual Christianity, which is never too comfortable with the human element of our faith. Especially when it comes to Jesus.

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Matthew 5:38-48

Just listen to people on either side of an issue talk about each other. How Packer fans and Viking fans talk about each other, for instance. The words people on either side of the national health care debate use to describe each other. How different groups down in Madison have been characterizing each other this past week. The other side just can’t see straight. They must be idiots. They must be out to ruin things for everybody. If people get particularly riled up, we hear accusations that begin, “This is just like what the Nazis were doing.” If it has something to do with religious issues, then the wrong side of the debate are the enemies of God, and are probably going to get what’s coming to them in the end anyway.

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