Christmas is over and things have begun to return to normal. It’s easy to find ourselves in a fog of forgetfulness, consumed by the return to normal routines and busyness.
Just as it seems Mary and Joseph forgot who Jesus was in the midst of 12 years of normal. That is, until he gets left behind in Jerusalem and they begin to panic, searching for him everywhere except where he is.
In this sermon, Pastor Kate explores our forgetfulness in the midst of “normal” and Jesus’ response.
Luke 2: 41-52
When we’re sick, we’d do anything for a guaranteed miracle that will cure us. We feel the same desire when our world isn’t well and our lives seem like a mess. This is, in part, the reason that we cling to the Christmas promise of a savior who is born – our guaranteed miracle.
But maybe this idea of a miracle isn’t exactly what we receive on Christmas. Perhaps the miracle we do receive is bit more ordinary than we’d expect.
John the baptist assured the people who came to him in the wilderness seeking God, that God was coming to be with them in the midst of their wilderness. He urged them to prepare for God’s coming. “Repent, for the kingdom of God has come near.” Repentance doesn’t just mean remorse: repentance, metanoia, means turning to follow a new way. John urges us to be prepared to see new life coming out of places that seem hopeless, to see God with us there; to turn, and to follow.
When it feels like the world is unraveling, Jesus hears our fear and uncertainty, and urges: do not be overwhelmed by the darkness, but witness to the light that shines in the darkness. Open your eyes to the suffering, fear, and pain around you, even if it is not your own, and do not turn away. Open your eyes to see God’s will for the world, see that the way things are is not the way things are meant to be, but see also God’s power for healing, still at work in our world.
“I understand [the trinity] most clearly when I remember the time before it all became official, when it was just people telling about their experiences of God in the best way they knew how… When we affirm god as three in one, we declare that we see god in all of these ways, and we also declare that god is not contained in just one of them. God is all of these things and much more. God is beyond what we can speak, beyond what we can calculate in a math equation.”
Message recorded on Sunday May 22, 2016
We aren’t too good with vulnerability. When we choose leaders, we look for those who promise power and might. But instead, on this Christ the King Sunday, we get a God who is incredibly vulnerable; who hangs on the cross and will not save himself. And in so doing, invites us into our own vulnerability as a source of life.