4/14/19 – Jesus, Stop Messing with our God!

Posted on : Apr 11th, 2019 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

We are living in a time when honesty and truth are secondary to ratings.  It doesn’t matter what is said, how dishonest it is, how ridiculous it is, how contradictory it is.  What matters is ratings.  The new moral currency is “views, likes, and retweets.”  

Peter Laarman, a noted UCC activist pastor, who spoke here with Tiffany Johnson on Prison Reform the last week of January, wrote an article a few weeks ago with the headline: “With Methodist LGBTQ Vote and GOP Support for Trump, White Protestantism Has Hit Bottom.”  In that article he states, “White Protestantism, the default religion of the United States since forever, is shot to hell:  both morally vacuous (void; bankrupt) and contaminated as a brand for generations to come.” 

Anyone who claims religion shouldn’t be political has never read the Story which leads to the crucifixion of Jesus.  It’s the most political story in the history of the world.  The Chief Priests and the Scribes are as mad at Jesus as the “traditionalist” Methodists are at LGBTQ folk.  They were simply outraged that Jesus would mess with their God – or more accurately, their traditional understanding of God.  How dare he challenge their power and authority? 

Jesus’ message of who God is, and how God relates to us, didn’t fit their legalistic ideal at all.  Just as is happening today, honesty and truth became secondary to ratings.  The religious authorities of Jesus’ day instilled such fear and anger into the people, that they quickly turned on Jesus.  The one whom they hailed as the Anointed One quickly became the one they wanted put to death.  Talk about a ratings game!  The religious authorities were even able to convince the crowds that it was better to release a known brutal serial killer (Barabbas) instead of Jesus!  Even Pilate, the Governor of Rome, who was known as a brutal tyrant, knew this whole scheme to crucify Jesus was a sham.  So much so in fact, Pilate washed his hands in front of the crowd and said, “This one’s (Jesus’) blood is on your hands.” 

The Palm Sunday / Passion story is one of the most profound examples of what happens when you start messing with people’s image and understanding of God.  People, including most of us, don’t give up easily on our old, outdated images and beliefs about God, even when they are destructive.  This story reveals to us that Jesus does not give up on honesty and truth for ratings.  In fact, just the opposite is true.  Jesus sticks with his honesty and truth about who God is, and how much God loves us, even as everyone else turns against him.  This is an important message that we need to hear, especially today.



Luke 19: 28-40
Luke recounts Jesus’ triumphal entry
into Jerusalem.



Hosanna! Hosanna!

Blessed is the One who comes in the Name of our God.

Hosanna in the highest!

Jesus went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. When he drew near to Beth’phage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, saying, “Go into the village opposite, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat; untie it and bring it here.   If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this, ‘The Savior has need of it.’” So those who were sent went away and found it as he had told them.  And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” And they said, “The Savior has need of it.”

And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their garments on the colt, they set Jesus upon it. And as he rode along, they spread their garments on the road.

As he was drawing near, at the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying,

Hosanna! Hosanna!

Blessed is the One who comes in the Name of our God.

Hosanna in the highest!

And some of the Pharisees in the multitude said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” Jesus answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”


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