And the congregation all said Amen!
Saturday, October 3, 2015
Dave-El In the Pulpit
There’s a lot of things I’ve posted to this blog: stuff about comic books, Doctor Who, movies, politics, society, random stupid stuff that struck me as funny. So what am I posting today? Well, for lack of a better description, what I am posting today…
…is a sermon.
Don't worry, I won't be taking up an offering.
So let’s see where this takes me.
Some Christian acquaintances of mine got their knickers in a twist over something Pope Francis said this past Sunday.
“And if at times our efforts and works seem to fail and not produce fruit, we need to remember we are followers of Jesus Christ and his life, humanly speaking, ended in failure, the failure of the cross.”
The whole crux of the Christian faith centers on Christ dying on the cross. How can any Christian, especially the Pope, call the end of Jesus’ life on the cross a failure?
There are Christians who typically don’t deal well with challenges to their faith. Of course, that’s probably true of certain followers of any religion. But more conservative Christians seem to be particularly thin skinned when forced to view and examine their religion from a different perspective.
So let me put on my Pope of the Internet hat and let’s dive into what exactly Pope Francis (P-Frankie to his homies) had to say.
The key words to the Pope’s assertion are “humanly speaking”. Remember the whole deal with Jesus was to be God among us in human form. To be human was to be subject to what humans experience, including failure. If sometimes it seems like you can’t catch a break, remember Jesus had his own problems with that. He was human.
Now imagine that you have a mission, a mission of going around telling people that God loves you and people should love one another. Seems like a nice straightforward thing. What would a successful mission look like from a human perspective? You get to keep spreading your good word, people keep responding to it positively and the number of those people keep increasing. From a human perspective, being nailed to a tree and slowly and painfully dying over several hours, would not be considered a positive outcome. It is a failure, a failure for people to truly understand what Jesus was trying to say, trying to do. Even his own disciples didn’t quite get what the deal was.
But that is humanly speaking. And Jesus Christ being human was only part of the equation. The other part of this is the divine. He may have been God among us in human form but he was still God among us. Being nailed to a cross and dying is not a success, not a victory. Being nailed to a cross, dying and then bouncing back from that with a big old TA-DA? That is a success, that is a victory.
Failure is part of the human experience. There are many successful business people who will tell you that they learned more from their failures than their successes. Failure is an integral part of life. Failure is the teacher that guides us towards the right direction, the best idea, to whatever works. Yes, humanly speaking, the end of Jesus’ human life on the cross was a failure. The victory, the successful outcome, was the repudiation of that human failure with divine grace.
And the congregation all said Amen!
Everyone, be good to one another. I’ll be back with another post tomorrow.
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