Every good sermon attempts, in part, to answer this question: Who is Jesus? When the church is at it’s best, it attempts to answer the same question before doing anything. When I started working on my sermon for this past Sunday, I spent some time crafting a response as an exercise to get my soul bouncing. Usually this kind of free writing is deleted. The result from this past week didn’t make it into the sermon, but it seemed worthy of saving.
I started with this premise: One day, my son will be old enough to ask, who is Jesus? How will I answer? Here is the result.
To know Jesus enough, to answer this question with more than words is where life begins, for me. He says I am... with purpose and conviction but crouched between the lines of good shepherds and hired hands is the truth. A homeboy to some, a leader to others; he can't be described in one word or 10,000. Follow me, he beckons. but the first turn after I leave home is toward death. Do like me, he instructs. but his hand is turned to receive people I don't like. Lean on me, he invites. but he is leaning already from the weight of a cross. Go to church, I assume. but the church is imperfect unlike him. 10,000 words to accompany his own are scattered on floors to be swept away and recycled in time to make room for 20,000 more. But still I wait for one word with an infinite glow that burns beyond time and stretches exactly to the boundry between one kingdom and another. When I was little a black radio propped on my father's lap delivered the news on the back of short waves. To hear the good news from villages too far off to know by experience required some measure of concentration and patience. Beneath the persistent whistle formed in the movement of short waves soaring through the air across 10,000 miles was a voice determined to share a word not yet heard. Listen close and hear almost every word, but the last will be lost unless you've seen it before. Jesus is in the last word.