Readers of this blog may have seen an announcement that my installation at Eastminster would be this upcoming Sunday afternoon. Please excuse the error! I’m getting ahead of myself, it seems. In reality, the installation service will be at 4:00 on Sunday, November 4th.
We all enjoy the perfect cup of coffee or the perfect dessert, or the perfect glass of wine (or whatever your taste may be). And we admire the perfect play in our favorite sport, or the perfect line in a speech or a fictional dialogue. But what does “perfect” mean in these examples, and how harmful can perfection be when we use it as a standard to judge ourselves and others?
During Sunday’s sermon, we will consider the ideal of “perfection,” and think together about what it has to do with our faith in Jesus–or, rather, how our faith in Jesus changes the ideal itself.
Also on Sunday–don’t forget the pastor installation service at Eastminster at 4:00 p.m. My wife, the Rev. Michelle James, will be preaching. You won’t want to miss that!
What do you expect from Jesus? It’s not a question we think about very much, I’m sure, but it’s an important one! From the very beginning of Christianity, there has been a temptation to think of Jesus as a super-human figure, and, as we grow more aware of our fragilities and limitations, the longing for a divine superhero becomes all the stronger. But what if the real power of Jesus is that he is like us in every respect? What if what makes Jesus a savior is that he is human, and knows what it is like to feel weak and vulnerable like we do? The author of the Letter to the Hebrews asks us to consider that possibility.
This Sunday, we will be looking at Hebrews 5:1-10, and we will talk not just about Jesus but about the Christian life as a journey toward full humanity. I hope you are able to join us.
I was always taught that Sunday is a day of rest. It is hardly that anymore, for many of us, but God’s expectation that we experience rest has not changed. But what is “rest?” We often think of it simply as doing nothing or at least avoiding a lot things. This Sunday, focusing on Hebrews chapter four, I’m going to suggest something different: rest isn’t the interruption of our busy lives–it is the best and most important thing in our lives. Rest doesn’t mean inactivity–rather, it means being secure in the grace and love of God. Here’s a snippet from my upcoming sermon:
“Rest itself is our highest and best productivity. It is when we are free to be creative, free to love where we are and who we are because we are not captive to drudgery, not beholden to schedules and demands. Rest, in the Bible, is the principal model for justice; rest is equality; rest is peace. Rest is resisting the brutal and relentless meritocracy of our culture and refusing to subject ourselves or others to it. So that we can simply enjoy each other and ourselves as well.”
Hope to see you in church!