Jesus in the short waves

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.