Sermon planning time for me- and I invite you to participate with me by sharing your wisdom and insights.
I am working on a sermon series for later in the spring entitled “The Jesus Response.” The idea behind it is to examine how Jesus responded to his culture and what we can learn and apply from that.
My foundational claim is that his culture and our culture are very similar- pluralism abounded then and does now. The question “What is truth?” alone can describe postmodern thought.
So we start there and closely examine how Jesus engaged and impacted this kind of culture- and through this discern how we might as well. So far here are some of my thoughts:
- Jesus ministry was grass-roots. He primarily moved and worked among the common folk- the poor and oppressed. His message of relief from that poverty and oppression resonated strongly and gained followers. Maybe this is where we need to go as well- back into the byways and highways- where the needs are. Nothing new about this idea- but are we really doing it?
- Jesus was the definition of authentic. This is a postmodern buzz word but key to Jesus impact. They recognized he was different- not like the scribes and Pharisee’s in his teaching. They recognized his realness. We must reclaim this kind of authenticity.
- He presented a counter-ethic that empowered the powerless. Last will be first- lose life to save it- go the extra mile- turn the other cheek, etc. This kind of power through surrender and service scandalized those who possessed power. Are not more and more feeling powerless now?
- He refused to get off-message. His detractors could not steer him into debate or away from his mission. He did not waste time engaging their trite theological discussions. He came to seek and save the lost. Often we spend much time focusing on things that sound spiritual and religious but in fact make no difference to the hurting and lost.
- He chose truth over tradition and people over institutions- similar to previous point but nuanced a little differently. Christ was not about propping up institutional traditions- he was about changing lives through truth. This kind of approach clearly injects Christ into contemporary dialogue in effective ways.
Okay- if you waded thru that- any suggestions and input would be appreciated.