I'm going to start commenting on the readings for the coming Sunday. Call it sermon practice, first draft thoughts. I invite comments and critiques.
Readings: Luke 23:35-43 or Luke 19:29-38
Tough passages for a tough guy. These two passages bookend Jesus' late ministry, the Palm Sunday triumph and the crucifixion. I've often thought that meeting Jesus, in the flesh, might have been a difficult experience. I don't get the peaceful easy vibe from Him at all, I think he would have been rather unsettling. Jesus was like the jester in Shakespeare's plays, the only one authorized to tell the truth, and everyone's response was to ignore, laugh it off, or atand in silence and shuffle their feet.
Both of these passages show Jesus in public, he is being recognized in some way or another. First, in Luke 19: Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Then again by the criminal in Luke 23. Here it seems that the public declaration of Jesus as Lord doesn't get much, no political takeover, no reprieve from suffering.
When I was growing up in the Baptist church much was made to make a public testimony of your "walk with Jesus." The idea was to inspire others I suppose but I always avoided this because I had no testimony, I had just followed suit, when your about 11 or so get saved. Done.
Now, I think I have a testimony, and yes I am one of those whackos that thinks that Chritianity is a spiritual path with truth in it and is worth pursuing, maybe, gasp, to the exclusion of other spiritual expressions. But the testimony doesn't sound too enticing: Life with Christ is an insecure one, it is a life whereby the floor is nonexsistant, your thoughts and desires are suspect at best, and you will come to the realization that you hold nothing. But all this is absolutely liberating too. You don't have to hold onto your anger, you don't have to hold onto your happiness either, this creates a kind of nostalgic desperation. My testimony about life with Jesus is this: We own nothing, what we do have is a gift from God. Enjoy but don't hold. Something like that, I'm not a theologian, yet.
Wow, this is going to be hard...