An adapted sermon from Leadership NOW (Thanks to Zoe!) and from the Iona Community given at the Trinity Picnic on 9-7-08.
Nancy: It is of supreme importance --
Luke: that we get our image of Jesus --
NANCY: There are too many blithering idiots -
LUKE: Well meaning people!
NANCY: Religious nuts!
LUKE: Church leaders – denominational and institutional hierarchies!
NANCY: Conservatives & Literalists!
LUKE: Bleeding Heart Liberals and Socialists
NANCY: Political Elitists
LUKE: Wacko revolutionaries!
ALL: Who are leading people ASTRAY!!
NANCY: So listen carefully – JESUS
ALL: As we ALL know
LUKE: Came from a model family --
NANCY: What?! His mother was pregnant when she got married!
LUKE: And lived in a secure and loving home.
NANCY: They were refugees – his parents had an arranged marriage!
LUKE: He had a wondrous childhood…
NANCY: About which we know nothing!
LUKE: He was mild and obedient – a holy child!
NANCY: He ran away when he was 12… was gone for 3 days – and didn’t feel much remorse!
LUKE: He spoke with love and compassion to all.
NANCY: He was rude to his mother more than once – and said “You’re not my father” to his step-father.
LUKE: Jesus was the model working man.
NANCY: Doing what? He was impoverished, never held a job that we know of. Ran around with the wrong crowd and kept company with sinners and criminals!
LUKE: He was a model capitalist and encouraged entrepreneurship in others.
NANCY: He told Peter, Andrew, James, John and Matthew to give up their jobs and leave their families.
LUKE: He kept good company
NANCY: I think we’ve been around this bend!
LUKE: He had a good word for everybody.
NANCY: If you think “vipers, blind guides and “hypocrites” are compliments!
LUKE: His conversation was deep and centered on the finer things in life,
NANCY: bread and dough, sheep, pig farming, prostitutes for dinner, tax collectors for lunch.
LUKE: He never dabbled with controversy.
NANCY: He just claimed to be the Son of God – and urged people not to support their government or obey their parents or their religious leaders!
LUKE: Jesus never upset anyone!
NANCY: with the simple exception of priests, Pharisees, pigeon sellers, the wealthy, the religious, the Roman government, and anyone who suggested that they might know how to live a pious life!
LUKE: He was respected in religious circles
NANCY: Which must be why they plotted to have him arrested and killed!
LUKE: Jesus was a man among men
NANCY: And women!
LUKE: He was a man of God.
NANCY: He was a man who called himself the Son of Humanity!
LUKE: In his majesty we see God at work
NANCY: In his humility we see God in person!
LUKE: That’s why he was worshipped and adored!
NANCY: That’s why he was tortured and crucified!
LUKE: Jesus isn’t here now
NANCY: He rose on the third day.
LUKE: So we have to wait until he comes again.
NANCY: But he sent his example to guide us.
LUKE: He will bring the Kingdom of God with him.
NANCY: We have to celebrate his love and acceptance!
LUKE: We have to save souls and tell people where they are sinning!
NANCY: We need to look at our own lives and find the path to good and grace.
LUKE: We need to be religious leaders!
NANCY: We need to be faithful followers!
LUKE: We need to stand up and be counted!
LUKE: Onward – Christian soldiers!
NANCY: Onward – Peaceful servants!
LUKE: We are a mighty army!
NANCY: We are the Body of Christ!
LUKE: It is of supreme importance --
NANCY: That we get our image of Jesus –