Sunday, July 25, 2010
Jesus Stirs Everyone Up, preached @ Tinney Chapel today
Click on any image above to view it in larger format or click on the arrow below to view Pastor Sue's sermon, "Jesus Stirs Everyone Up."
Jesus Stirs Everyone Up
American culture has had more than its share of luminaries who were known for stirring up the populace: Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley come to mind for our own time, as modern secular examples.
During First Century Israel, Jesus was one who managed to do that.
Think, for instance, of the cheering crowds at Palm Sunday, just days before the crowds turned sullen and violent, in search of Crucifixion.
After that, Jesus was abandoned even by many of those closest to Him, reminded Pastor Sue Gross, during her sermon at Tinney Chapel on this 9th Sunday after Pentecost.
When Jesus was brought before Pilate, He was asked: Are you the king of the Jews? Jesus' answer was a deliberately ambiguous: So you say. And, although Pilate claimed to find no fault in Jesus, the crowds were sufficiently stirred up to demand Crucifixion. Crowds, it seems, may be stirred to action, both positive and negative.
But, even today, Jesus has the power to stir up people, and make no mistake: There are still people today who feel threatened both by Jesus and by His teachings.
Some sociologists say that we are living in a post-Christian world today, but you and I know that we actually live in a pre-Christian world.
How many of us today love as Jesus loved? How many of us sacrifice as Jesus sacrificed? Pastor Sue could only think of one at the moment: Perhaps Mother Teresa?
Then, she mentioned another woman, from the days of Nazi Germany during World War II. Her name was Irena Sandberg, a social worker of that era who worked selflessly to help smuggle children and babies out of the Nazi hands, where they would otherwise have been exterminated in Hitler's "final solution," the horrible plot to kill as many Jews as possible. It has been estimated that she saved more than 2,500 Jewish children and babies.
But she paid a terrible price when eventually captured and tortured by the Nazi officials, who broke her legs and feet, making it difficult for her to walk again.
This great lady died only a few years ago in a Polish hospital, where she was being cared for by one of the Jewish children she had saved during World War II.
We might never have known this great lady's story had it not been for a group of students in Uniontown, Kansas, who discovered her during a research project and eventually wrote a play about her exploits.
If we want to be like Jesus ourselves, Pastor Sue reminded that we must be born again and seek to adopt the Mind of Christ.
Jesus' thoughts were far ahead of His time, she explained. Thus, we must find a new orientation as well. Jesus became obedient to death, even death on a Cross, with a mindset that called for His Father's will to be done, and not His own.
If we want to be the person we believe we want to be, a similar radical mindset, the Mind of Christ, must first be our goal. For Jesus came to live among us not only to get us into Heaven, but also to get Heaven into us!
For all of us, this means getting rid of things like envy, resentment and anger. We must seek not to be restless, but rather to cultivate the Peace of the Lord which is the key to true happiness.
This means nothing less than a New Beginning.