As I've said before: I love Brian. His message began with a simple statement: that what we focus on determines what we miss. He suggested that Jesus is a puzzle, and like the children's puzzles we are all familiar with, we come to the puzzle of Jesus with a picture in our minds (like the picture on a puzzle box) that we use to try to piece our understanding of Him together. But what happens if our picture is wrong? How frustrating the puzzle will be! And how much of Jesus do we miss by focusing on just our own picture?
Then, as always with Brian, the refocusing of our picture of Jesus begins to center on His message of the Kingdom of God. A kingdom standing in stark contrast to the roman kingdom of the day... A kingdom whose divine leader, a son of God, bringer of the pax romana (the roman peace) was Caesar Augustus. And how did Caesar bring this peace? Through the newly developed technology of the cross. Through the violent and torturous putting down of rebellion, sending a strong message to all who might oppose rome.
But Jesus sends a different message. Jesus brings peace by suffering, rather than inflicting suffering. Jesus brings peace by dying, rather than killing others. Jesus brings peace by enduring torture, not by torturing others. Jesus brings peace not by enforcing loyalty, but by accepting betrayal. Yes, Jesus, just a caesar, brings peace through the cross (Colossians 1). But He does it as no other king before Him had. And His kingdom is like no other before it.
Way to go Brian! I am thrilled to be here. And like you, I too feel like someone has dropped an alka seltzer into the middle of my brain. The thoughts are churning, the ideas bubbling. Yet my spirit is stirred as well. I can't wait to hear Richard Rohr tonight.
Minister of Music & Adult Ministry
Our Place Christian Church
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