Summary: Jesus is astounding. His grace, His sheer beauty, His magnificent love, His power. When we pause to consider in a fresh way the wonder of our Saviour and what it means for us to be His people, we are changed.
CATM Sermon - March 13, 2005
I feel extremely privileged. On top of being a part of this amazing community of faith and meeting with many of you and working on important projects and sharing life together, I get to stand before you now to talk about my Jesus. Who is your Jesus. Who is the Jesus of all time.
And this is both an intensely personal thing for me, and an intensely public thing I do. Private because I get to speak of the One who saved my life from the pit, who rescued me from myself, who lifted me up out of the miry clay.
The one who knows me like no other, faults and weaknesses and sins a plenty. The One who has given me a hope and a future.
But He is also your hope...whether or not you know Him personally as Saviour and Lord, in Him is all the fullness ever intended for your life. And this too is an amazing personal and public truth.
It’s personal because when we embrace Him we embrace the absolute best future that exists for us, and public because as we embrace Him and grow in our communion with him, He pours out his goodness and his life and his blessings through us. You see, in him is all the freedom you were made for. In Him is all the potential and all the possible and the above-and-beyond-what-we-can-ask-or-imagine.
And in Him there is what we can refer to as a cosmic reality. That’s a fancy word for the parts of
reality that are so much bigger and beyond our daily lives. Jesus is the One who rules and reigns the cosmos with all authority and mercy and love.
And in Him you and I find our connection to the cosmos which are much greater than us but, we
discover as we read the Word of God, they were created for us.
So today, as we approach Holy Week which begins next Sunday, I want to do two things. I want us to take a fresh look at the Saviour. And I want us to take a fresh look at ourselves in the light of the Saviour.
A Fresh Look at the Saviour
I’m surprised sometimes what feels like the stale ways that people look at Jesus. Some refer to the gospel story as “The Old, Old Story”. I think there’s even a chorus by that name. But I am glad for the hymns that we have and for the new worship songs that we sing.
And I am glad for those who throughout the ages have found creative ways to express their understanding of Jesus, which is always based on what the Holy Bible reveals about Him.
Many if not most of the songs we sing at Church at the Mission were written by people who were moved to express worship to God because of something new that they had discovered about Him. Or something fresh in the way they interacted with Jesus.
I understand that as well because a lot of the songs I’ve written, including the ones on our worship album, began in tears from something beautiful I had just realized about God. About His love for us. About His unceasing pursuit of us.
I guess the thing that bugs me the most about stale perspectives on Jesus is that they seem either stuck in the church’s past history, or they seem to focus on Jesus a very long time ago in a very far away place from us. What’s wrong with that? Well, you see, Jesus is best understood as being mostly now.
Why? Because He is not locked in the past. He is imminent to us. That means that He is present to us. He is here. When we gather to worship together here on Sundays we are not worshipping a relic. We are not just remembering His mighty acts of long ago. He is here. Right now, in this room, we are in an encounter with the living God this very moment. He is moving in this place. Do you realize this? He is touching lives.
A funny thing a lot of preachers experience is a person from the congregation coming up after the
service and saying, “Thank you so much for talking about...so and so. When you said...so and so, it hit me like a ton of bricks and I’m now refreshed in my walk with God”.
But the funny thing is...sometimes we’ve never said what they thought we said. We could be on a whole different topic talking about something completely different, and yet people are hearing a different thing that is blessing them.
Why is that? It’s because God is here. He is powerfully present by His Spirit. He is still teaching