What would Jesus say now?

The first confession of the first Christians was simple: “Jesus is Lord!” It was a daring statement. The monotheistic Jews among them knew they were applying God-talk to the man from Nazareth. The Romans among them understood that if Jesus is Lord no Emperor could be. And persons from all walks of life, the high and the humble found purpose and direction in obedience to the Risen One. What the first Christians experienced they hoped for others, that one day “every knee shall bow, every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.”

Jesus got bigger when he became Lord! I know that may sound odd, but hear me out. When God raised Jesus on the third day and vindicated Jesus’ claims to be the Father’s Chosen One, Jesus was elevated above his environment. He was no longer poster boy for a first century Judean Jew. He was Lord and potential Lord for Greeks, Egyptians, Ethiopians in the first century and persons on the Lower West Shore in the twenty-first century. It had to be that way if every knee were to bow and tongue confess. Jesus must be able to establish his lordship in our time and place too.

But a Lord talks back! A Lord is not a window manikin you can dress to suit your whims, Lord Jesus as progressive Democrat, say, or Lord Jesus as conservative Republican. The Lord deflects our projections onto him whether they come from ignorance or cynical motives. “I am who I am,” says Jesus like Yahweh before him, “deal with it!”

In the sermons this fall I ask the question, “What would Jesus say now?” I will try my best to do what every preacher should: get out of the way and let Lord Jesus speak for   himself. But I don’t want the Jesus who is stuck in the past. And I don’t want the Jesus we invent to promote our causes today. Just, Lord Jesus. I look forward to your participation in the Sunday worship. The adult class will study the texts and subjects in detail at 9:00 AM in Fellowship Hall. The Book Study for this series will be N. T. Wright’s Simply Jesus. May this autumn see an abundant of harvest of spiritual growth as together we reaffirm the lordship of Jesus Christ.

Pastor Lew