2 thoughts on “Christmas Eve 2017, Midnight Traditional Worship”

  1. Karl
    Hope your Christmas Day was as Joyous as your Christmas Eve day was busy.
    Your sermons, as usual make me think. Which is a good thing, as long as I don’t do too much of it. It seems to me that though Jesus was fully human, we fully humans can only pretend to be like Jesus. Often people become more like we want to be by pretending. Fake it til you make it is the old saying. You are asking the impossible of yourself, if you’re asking yourself to live like Jesus. People might even say to themselves: “will. . . . if Karl can’t manage to be like Jesus, I might as well give up.”
    The Angel came down and said it was “good news.” If living like Jesus is the standard, its “bad news” for me. Of course, neither of us believe that.
    I understand you were challenging us to change in a positive way, perhaps you set the bar too high for yourself and everyone else.
    You saw people in need of food, and started a food pantry, saw people homeless and started Joseph’s Coat. That was a better response than giving them 5$ or bringing them home for the night. Perhaps, Jesus had a neighbor he didn’t like, a cousin he couldn’t stand, Oh, I am sure he loved them from a safe distant. He just didn’t want to spend Yom Kippur with them. Being fully human would mean that Jesus experienced the negative human emotions as well as those Kum Bah Yah feelings we like to associate with him.
    Personally, I don’t think Jesus wants me to be like him, although I’m sure he wants me to grow closer in relationship with him and his dad. Karl, don’t blush, but your faith shines like a beacon in our congregation, yet I don’t think you can be like Jesus. I doubt that you’re are called to be like that, I think you are called to be what you are, a good and faithful servant.
    With the best of intentions,
    Your brother in Christ,

    1. Great comments Fred. Thanks. It is always encouraging for sermons to cause people to think. What I was taught theologically, was that the difference between Jesus and me was that Jesus was able to trust God fully and I am not. Trusting God fully was the intention by God of humanity in the Chapter 2 Genesis story. The story is not as much about the first sin, original sin, as it is the primary sin of humanity, to trust our own instincts, our own needs/desires over God’s wishes/hopes/commands. Unlike Adam, the first man, Jesus as the new Adam of the resurrection as Paul said, was able to live out life fully trusting God in all instances, even when God’s hope was not in his best interest. The teaching that Jesus was sinless means he always trusted God in his life.

      So, on that premise, what I was fumbling around trying to say is that it wasn’t the divinity part of Jesus that made him extraordinary when he lived, it was the humanity part. He was able to be human like God intended when God created Adam. You are right, none of us is able to be sinless-that is trust God always especially when our interests seem better served to trust ourselves and our desires. It is hard for us even to know for sure what trusting God means in some instances. We all fall short and we all rely upon on forgiveness, which Jesus made clear God wants to give. I could have and should have made clear God’s promise of forgiveness. Good call.

      However, what I wanted people to hear is that the part of Jesus they admire and lift up, the loving, welcoming and sacrificing part, is exactly the part they can relive in their life. Like you said, my hope was to challenge people, to ask them to expect more of themselves, confident in forgiveness .

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