Monday, August 25, 2014

"Who Do You Say That I Am?" Challenge

The blog has been on a bit of a summer sabbatical, but to start afresh this week I wanted to re-post the challenge I issued at the end of worship yesterday. After reading Matthew 16:13-20 and considering Jesus' question to his disciples--"Who do you say that I am?"--I encouraged our congregation to consider accepting his challenge this week and seeing how you would answer that question.

To get the juices flowing, I am sharing below a few items--first, my response to this question, at least as of today; and the video that I showed part of in worship yesterday, of people around Baltimore being interviewed and asked who they think Jesus is. I only showed the middle part of this video addressing the question "Who is Jesus?", but the first and third questions are interesting too.

Note: if you get this blog via email, you will likely have to go to the view the video.

I would love to hear what you all come up with this week--when you really dig down deep and don't just give a cursory answer, who do you say Jesus is? And how do you say it with your life?

Video, courtesy of YouTube:

Abby's feeble attempt to answer the challenge:

I say that Jesus is proof that God loves this world so much that God could not stay distant from us. When God saw us flailing about, God wanted to be with us; God wanted to take a form we could recognize. So God did the unthinkable, and was born as a helpless baby to a poor family from an insignificant village. That baby grew into an adult who showed us what God is like—and what it looks like for us to be saved from our brokenness and reunited with the God in whose image we were made. Jesus came to show us what life can look like: bringing healing where there was no hope, hearing the voices of those others avoided, feeding the masses even when it looked like there wasn’t enough to go around, showing mercy and compassion where it looks almost insane to do so. Jesus’ way was so different that it scared the heck out of the powers-that-be, and his refusal to back down landed him on a cross—but even there, Jesus spoke words of forgiveness, words of relationship, words of honesty, words of trust. And so the worst humanity could throw at him, death, could not hold him—God raised him to life as a way to say “yes” to the life Jesus lived, and to make this life possible for us as well—life where death and hate do not win, but rather nothing can separate us from the love of God, a love that knows no bounds and never ends.