Good afternoon! I'm writing this from the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers building in northeast Minneapolis. I drove school bus to the Guthrie for a high school "introduction to theater" class and found parking here. I'm sitting in their lobby doing a bit of work.
I thought I should take time to jot some thoughts and prayers about what the Lord has been leading me to do some preaching on this coming Sunday and in the next few weeks after that. We're coming close to the time of the year when Jesus gave his life for us and rose from the dead -- so it makes sense to me that we should refocus on some of the basics of the faith, specifically, some of the basics about JESUS.
That's my working title for the upcoming series, simply "JESUS." But what wonders we have from God in Him!
A few weeks ago my son Daniel connected me with some teachings on that are helpful in understanding just who JESUS is--teachings from C. Baxter Kruger. He I'll need to find time to review some of this before I'm ready to preach this coming Sunday.
Many times in a series of hour plus long messages simply entitled "In" (see that first video below) he says this:
The Gospel is not the news that you can receive Jesus into your life. The Gospel is that the Father's Son has come, and He has received us into His life.Now that little sentence may need some unpacking in order to understand it... we could rephrase it like this:
The good news that Christians have for you is that JESUS came and did everything necessary to bring you and me and every other human being into a perfectly sweet relationship with the God of All.How could JESUS do that? After all, wasn't Jesus a human being, known here on earth as "Jesus of Nazareth" or "Jesus, son of Mary and Joseph"? Yes, he is a human being (still, even today, no less than he was when he was here on earth 2,000 years ago). And yes, Jesus was known as one "of Nazareth," that is, the name of the town he grew up in and he was known as the "son of Mary and Joseph." That is how he was known when He was here on earth 2,000 years ago. But Jesus is so much more than that.
We'll begin, this coming Sunday with scripture from John's Gospel chapter 1 and then go on to other scriptures such as Hebrews chapter 1 and Colossians chapter 1. We will learn, or be reminded, that JESUS wasn't just born of the virgin Mary, but that HE, our wonderful Lord and Savior, was in the beginning--that everything in creation was made by HIM--and that JESUS is the one that holds everything together. EVERYTHING... including everything that does not yet know his name.
JESUS is able to do that because He, with "Father" and "Holy Spirit" IS the God of All. He IS the God of ALL--not only of those who happen to know his name. What we have is good news of truth to proclaim so that people can know the JOY of what's going on in this beautiful but broken world.
That's all I'll write for now. More on Sunday at Crossroads -- and in the video below.