May 1, 2011: Just Love People

Posted on : Apr 28th, 2011 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

Just Love People

the Way of Jesus

Last Sunday Dan showed a clip by Rob Bell on the significance of Jesus’ resurrection. Rob is a post-modern pastor who is particularly gifted in reframing the old truths of Christianity for a contemporary 21st century audience.

Click here to view the clip:

What is the significance of resurrection? What does it mean? Why does it matter? Why did it matter 2000 years ago? After all, telling people in the ancient world that Jesus had been raised from the dead wasn’t that impressive – the Greco-Roman world knew plenty of stories of gods and demigods who overcame normal human boundaries. (John Dominic Crossan) It is not the singular act of resurrection, but what Jesus’ life, acts, teachings, death, and resurrection proclaimed: God’s reign of justice has at last broken into this world.

In the words of Rob Bell: Resurrection announces that God has not given up on this world because this world matters – this world that we call home. Dirt and blood and sweat and skin and life and water – this world that God is redeeming, restoring, renewing. Greed, violence, abuse – they are not right and cannot last because they belong to death and death does not belong. Resurrection says that what we do with our lives matters – in this body, the one that we inhabit right now. So every act of compassion matters; every work of art that celebrates the good matters; every fair and honest act of business and trade; every kind word – they all belong, they all will go on in God’s good world. Jesus invites us to trust resurrection – that every glimmer of good, every hint of hope, every impulse that elevates the soul is a sign, a taste, a glimpse of how things actually are and how things ultimately will be.

What we do with our lives – right now – matters

Our lives right now are not separated from the life yet to come, it is all part of one reality – God’s good Creation. Jesus lived, breathed, ate, acted, and taught this divine reality – this divine reality where justice rules, love rules, compassion rules, mercy rules, dignity rules, acceptance rules. His message was loud and clear: In God’s realm there are no undesirables, no outsiders.  Jesus went out of his way break down boundaries and extend the realm to God’s mercy to include all – to eat with sinners, touch the sick – the untouchables of his time. Someone once said that every generation has its “untouchables.” In Jesus’ day it included the lepers, the prostitutes and tax collectors. These were people to be avoided at all costs.   The outcasts – those believed to have been rejected by God. Jesus looked upon society’s “hopeless cases” as opportunities to prove God’s all inclusive love and we are called to follow his lead and reach out in love. Who are the “untouchables” of our society?

Jesus’ Way is clear: we are called to reach out and respond in love, acceptance, and affirmation.

What we do with our lives – right now – matters

We’ll talk more on Sunday,