Sermons

Summary: If someone is looking for perfection in the Bride of Christ, they are not likely to find it. People focus on an ideal symmetry, but God gives His perfection to imperfect. We will be perfected at the return of our Saviour.

“He had no form or majesty that we should look at him,

and no beauty that we should desire him.” [1]

Most of us don’t have to look very far to find things we don’t like about ourselves. Young women are trained by society to starve themselves in order to achieve a look they imagine will bring them immeasurable happiness. Consequently, unprecedented numbers of young women suffer from anorexia or bulimia. If their teeth are not perfectly white and straight, then they imagine they are consigned to a life of perpetual loss. The “tissue test” will devastate a young woman since it reveals their dull, yellow teeth. If these young women don’t smell like fresh rain falling on a mountain meadow after a day at work, then they will be required to change their deodorant and/or their soap.

Young men are taught that they have to be muscular, ruggedly handsome, and always able to work with their tools. Of course, not all young men meet these criteria. What about the man who is cerebral, quiet, and somewhat plain? Is he less of a man because of what some see as imperfections? If his hands are rough and his gait somewhat awkward, do such imperfections disqualify him from aspiring to be a person of worth? Is another man’s value in society somehow less because he works with his hands rather than sitting at a desk all day?

In our recent past, governments insisted that only “essential workers” were allowed to continue in their work. Isn’t it odd that government considered mothers to be non-essential if they didn’t meet criteria devised by some faceless bureaucrat? I’m sure that the children of single mothers who were unable to continue working are not prepared to say that their mothers are non-essential. And dads who had previously earned a living so they could provide food and shelter for their families were unable to continue working to provide meat for the nation or to continue drilling for gas and oil to provide the energy required to ensure that manufacturing continued. When people are unable to buy food, or when gasoline is unavailable, then the concept of “essential worker” becomes a mockery for everyone.

There are no non-essential workers. If you imagine this to be the case, then the next time your sewer is stopped, call an accountant. Perhaps she will be able to tell you how much time you will lose waiting for the sink to drain, or how frequently you will need to flush the stool in order to rid the washroom of the stench. If you think your family physician is overpaid, then the next time you are suffering from a stomach ailment, call your mechanic to prescribe a course of medication to relieve your symptoms. Perhaps he will be able to install a new muffler, or perhaps you only need a new carburetor, or you can burn a higher octane fuel to ensure your inward parts are not carboned up.

This raises the critical question, “What happens when we are less than perfect?” What happens when our ideal, or the ideal devised by society, implies perfection is less than perfect? What happens when even the idea of the Faith creates an artificial concept of what the Faith must be. Even we who name the Name of Christ appear to imagine that Christians must be perfect. We seem to believe that we are to live as though we were cut out with cookie cutters, plastic saints that have no flaws. The reality is, of course, quite different.

Have you heard of Jeremy Ray Meeks? His mug shot was prominently displayed on the Internet in 2014 because of his stunning good looks. He was a fashion model who was captured in a gang sweep called Operation Ceasefire in Stockton, California. His stunning good looks hid a heart that can only be described as corrupt. Raymond Washington is another handsome man who was a criminal. He was the founder of the violent gang known as the Crips.

One web site lists the “Top 10 Most Beautiful Women in Prison.” [2] These are women imprisoned for robbery, drug smuggling, murder, negligent homicide, and bribery. A beautiful person does not mean that the individual possess a beautiful character.

In this message, I’m inviting you to take a renewed look at our Saviour. We perhaps have a mental imagine of Jesus, and our imagine is often of a man who was oh, so perfect. However, the One whom we meet in Scripture is presented as anything but perfect. I don’t mean that Jesus is flawed! He is perfect in righteousness, perfect in holiness, perfect in character. However, we forget that throughout Scripture Jesus is presented as less than physically perfect. Jesus didn’t look perfect, as witnessed in our text for this day:

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