Monday, September 20, 2010

Like a Smelly Beggar Claiming to be President

We are gathered here as the disciples of the risen Christ. Here we are gathered to proclaim and enact the fact that 2000 years ago God came for this wretched, sin infested world. He came as our Kinsman Redeemer: He came for those who were bowed down beneath their debts, enslaved to tyrants - gods and men, widowed, orphaned, forgotten, diseased, trodden under foot. Christ our God came as our Warrior, our Hero, our Mighty Man, He came to deliver the oppressed, to free the captives, to heal the broken, to proclaim the forgiveness of every debt. But our Mighty Man, our Hero did not come for us crowned in gold. He did not come for us on a gallant horse with a sword at his side with legions of angels and soldiers prepared for war. Christ came for battle, He came for war, but He came as a Child, He came as a wandering teacher, He came as a homeless bum. He came with a family that rejected Him; He came like a crazy man. He came in weakness. He had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire Him. And He was despised and rejected by men, just like we despise the mentally retarded in wheel chairs, just like we despise the bums digging through ash trays looking for old cigarettes, just like we despise alcoholics and drug addicts. God came for you like one of them. He came for this world like a deranged bum, and he came like that for us because that is what we are. Compared to the glories of God, the riches of his communion, and the love that is shared between Father, Son, and Spirit, we are all handicapped, deranged, and addicted. We are all users and abusers. And Christ came for us in our rags, in our delusions, in our captivity in order to undo it all. He came to throw down the rulers of that old world, He came to break the death hold of sin, He came to give us Life. But as it turns out, the way God comes for us is also what Life looks like. The way Life comes is the way Life lives. Life frees, Life delivers, Life sacrifices, Life gives, Life forgives, and Life heals. Jesus came to call us to follow Him, and to give up our lives in service to Him. Christ came as our Hero, our Savior, our Redeemer, our Mighty Man, and He came like a fool, like a smelly beggar with a cane claiming to be the President of the United States. And he says to you and I, follow me. And when we think about like that, none of us really wants to do that. And so we need to beg for grace and forgiveness.

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