Dear Friends –

I took a class on Christology at Claremont School of Theology several years ago. It was truly amazing to learn of how many different ways we have interpreted the person of Jesus and the incarnate Christ over the centuries and across different cultures. One of the best things about the class was the diversity of students and the faith traditions they represented. From a Chinese Buddhist studying abroad in California, to self-proclaimed agnostics, Mormons, and Catholics, we couldn’t take any basic belief for granted, and had to dig deep into our own foundations of faith and culture to clearly see the interpretations at work in us.

There was a man in the class who had professed to be intrigued by Christianity, but was also too skeptical of a God who “allowed the world to be so broken” to claim the faith himself. In a particular class conversation, he came to a significant revelation: God sent Jesus to teach us to bring about God’s good and gracious will. Until then, he hadn’t understood that the Gospel was not an account of how God set things right, but an invitation to us to make it so by following Jesus’ example.

There are times when the Gospel brings us great comfort and peace; when it provides grace in which to rest from our troubled world. And then, there are times when the Gospel agitates us to break from what is comfortable—whether in belief or action—to more fully embody God’s will in the world; to more fully bear witness to the love we have been given in Jesus.

Our text this week is challenging, but I think if we are open to its message it just might help ground us and encourage us to be the light we are called to be in this strange and uncertain time. If we are ready to live into the call God has placed before us, to share in this great kingdom-building purpose, I believe challenge can actually become inspiration… possibly even hope.

See you Sunday,
Pastor Darin