It’s been awhile since I tried to sit down and blog a bit, but I want to continue the practice. In the past, I’ve done a few posts under the heading “Sermon Scraps.” These are interesting stories, quotes, or illustrations that I came across in my preparation for the Sunday sermon, but they just didn’t make it into the final draft. I offer them here as food for thought to spur deeper engagement and conversation around Sunday’s worship.
Since this past Sunday was my first Sunday at FBC Griffin, GA, I thought it might be a good time to bring this back. On Sunday (May 13, 2018), we discussed Jesus’ first sermon as recorded in Luke’s Gospel (4:11-17). Therefore, I begin with this nugget from Barbara Crafton:
Scripture is much more full of hope than of journalism: peace on earth proclaimed when there is no peace, the inversion of unjust power hierarchies proclaimed while they are still firmly in place. At first glance, it all seems a bit premature: will we not look foolish, hymning our liberation while we are still in chains?
Yet the proclamation of liberty always precedes its actual birth. In 1776, the American Declaration of Independence resolved “That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved.” It is worth noting that this assertion marked the beginning of the struggle for independence, not its end. The end was still seven bloody years away. All political ideas live in the human imagination before they become flesh in the human community. So it is with all prophecy.
So it also is with Jesus: he proclaims liberation and healing before it comes to pass.
There is something profoundly true about this statement. Patience is essential. Christians know this better than most. We are a people of hope. We are a people of new life and new beginnings. We should be a people of great imagination. We are a people of resurrection.
May we also be a people who don’t sit by and wait for someone else to fight the fight for us. May we be a people willing to get our hands dirty. May we be a people that get off the sidelines and into the game. May we be a people willing to fall to our knees in prayer – for our own lives, our families, our communities, and our world. #LetItBeginWithMe