Sermons from Three of our Youth reflecting on where they've seen God on the church's summer trips!
Pay attention. From the ashes, he is risen. Jesus lives.
Be astounded! From the rubble, he is risen. Jesus lives.
Tell about it. From the tomb, he is risen. Jesus lives.
Functionally, Jesus did not accomplish anything as he demonstrated in Jerusalem so long ago... and yet... still... this story lives on.. and yet still... its symbols still provoke and challenge us...
And yet... still... we wave our palms
and bow down to the humble and peaceful king that rides on donkeys
that keeps coming into our world and flipping it upside down.
What if “helping” wasn’t just about meeting other people’s needs – as lofty and beautiful as that is? What if those connections were Christ’s way of meeting us, getting under our skin, getting inside us?
What if it’s true – that Christ is already here… in every act of compassion… in every connection we make? In the stranger, in family, in friend? Even – can I say it? - in ourselves?
What does it mean to wait with an expectation of goodness? It’s not being naïve about the dark; in fact, it’s just the opposite. You only carry oil if you think the dark will last a long time. They are not fools.
But you can live in the dark and carry the light of Christ at the same time. Especially if you are preparing for something good. Peace. Loving-kindness. Compassion.
It takes tenacity, but it is possible. And what this parable tells me, is that it’s exactly what Jesus wants for us, and for this world.
In this parable, at least, the issue is not about who is getting more than they deserve. It is not about comparisons at all – who is better than whom, who is more deserving than anyone else, who is more ‘worthy.’ If our focus is there, it will only lead to resentment and bitterness. The issue, in this parable at least, is whether everybody has enough – because the kingdom rests on God’s generosity, which is a model for us all.