This week the congregation enjoyed the children performing in a Christmas pageant. You too may enjoy this performance by watching the videos included here. The second video shows the “children’s sermon”, which followed the pageant.
While it is not possible to go into detail about all these theories that attempt to give meaning to the crucifixion, I would like to take you on a short tour of just a few of these theories, commonly known as atonement theories.
Perhaps we Protestants have lost something important in rejecting the traditions of Mary’s life and assumption. Perhaps we have taken the traditions too literally and not allowed the spiritual truths to emerge.
So, two questions come to mind for me this morning. One is, “Why should we trust God when the world is so messed up or our lives are derailed by sorrow or shame?” The second question is, “How are we investing in tomorrow? What will people fifty years from now have to say about us? Visionary or stuck?”
The kind of generosity that gives to receive something is neither the downside nor upside of giving. It’s kind of neutral a ground where our giving is matched by our need to receive. To tell you the truth, giving to get something begs the question, “Is something missing in my life?”
Let us continue to develop a spiritual practice of welcome and invitation of Jesus in to the hearts of each person with whom we join hands – praying for the day when neither straight or gay are terms which divide the beloved communities we seek to build in the neighborhoods which surround our churches….
Love is the theme of our meditations this morning. Certainly, Up is about love in its most highly developed form: marriage. The movie is also about adventure, family, and friendship – a combination of all the themes we have been exploring this summer. That is appropriate because marriage is a hearty mix of adventure, family, friends, and love.
So it is with faith. We aren’t ever going to be an Abram or Moses or Jesus. But we are our beautiful selves: we are children of God and we are called to live out our relationship with God in our daily lives. This is the great adventure, a blessing beyond imagination.
It is a challenge, indeed, for today’s parents to find the balance that allows their children to grow, which means to experience difficulties that need to be resolved, and to protect them from a world that seems to have gone crazy with those who would wish children harm.