And That Ain’t Your Sweet Little Baptist Jesus

The above was a favorite saying of John S. Reist Jr. Ph.D, , my theology professor from my seminary days.

When Jesus was asked to read the scripture in the synagogue he ended the reading from Isaiah with the words, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” — Luke 4:21 RSV  So what was fulfilled?

‘The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind,

to set at liberty those who are oppressed,

to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” 

–  Luke 18-19, Isaiah 61:1-2  RSV

Throughout his life and earthly ministry Jesus tried to teach us how to live, to be our example.  But somehow we totally missed the point.  Some churches even downplay these messages by saying that Jesus was God so it is impossible for us to live as he lived.  No, we must simply say we have “accepted Jesus as our Savior” all our sins will be forgiven then we go back to living the way we want.  We totally ignore the message and worship the messenger.

Jesus was rejected as the Messiah because he was not the political, military leader that was expected to save the Jews and vanquish the tyranny of Rome.  Aren’t we still looking for such a leader?  Doesn’t the recent election in the U.S. show this?  We were created to live in communion with God, but humanity wanted more.  Demanded more.  Over the centuries we have demanded, laws, judges, kings, even presidents.  Earthly leaders to tell us what to do and how to live.  We have forgotten that the law of God is written on our hearts.  We also have the life and teachings of Jesus, the Master Teacher to help show us how to live in this earthly realm.

So this December instead of celebrating the birth of a baby, let’s live the life the teacher taught us to live.  Shine your light for all to see.  Don’t get caught up in the drama created every year by people who want to tell everyone else what and how to celebrate.  This year when someone gives you a holiday greeting you don’t like, instead of getting angry, how about responding with Peace be with You?  We all need peace in our lives and in the world don’t we?

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