Jesse almost made it in a sermon

Worship at Downtown Church is a delicious mashup. Describing our style is problematic as the usual tired old classifications do not work. Our music is neither traditional or contemporary. The language is both ancient and modern. The dress is casual but the order of worship is deliberate and scripted. We use modern instruments but don't have projectors and screens. You get the idea. It's something that's simple to understand when you experience it, but harder to imagine when you explain it. Two Sundays ago I preached from a passage in Mark 1 that included Jesus' first public miracle, an exorcism of a demon possessed man in the local synagogue. It was a vivid text that lended itself well for preaching. So much happened in those few verses that it was harder than normal to focus the sermon to insure it didn't drag on for too long. I choose to focus on the witness of the crowds that after listening to Jesus teach, remarked that he taught with "authority." Teaching with "authority" can mean many different things, so I needed to use an illustration to narrow the definition for the context of the sermon. As I said earlier, we don't use a projector or screen in our services and in most cases we don't miss it. But last Sunday was one of those occasions when a video clip of someone reading with authority, specifically the Rev. Jesse Jackson reading Green Eggs and Ham on Saturday Night Live back when it was OK to have a finger wave in your baby fro, would have conveyed my point with much more humor and color than I was able to do. Without the projector, I was forced to tell about reading Chika Chika Boom Boom (a book that deserves significant scorn for it's annoying chorus and concept) to my two year old son. Watch the classic video below to see what it means to read with "authority."