Back in 2008 I preached a sermon series entitled “Kingdom Collision,” which explored the political implications of Jesus’ First Century ministry. My hope for the series was to show how Jesus refused to be sucked into the culture wars of his days. Instead, he offered a complete different perspective than his opponents were expecting1. Given the toxic nature of the rhetoric at the time of that election, it was something I felt was important to highlight.
It’s now 2016 and the political polarization in this country has gone beyond toxic. People from all political stripes have dropped even the pretense of holding back from joining “the culture war.” I am seeing daily calls for allies and recruitment for “their side” in the “battle.” The years of fear and anger being the chosen political messages by our two major political parties are now taking their toll. Things could get very ugly in 2016.
To that end, I’m actually going over those old sermons and reworking them as documents for reading. I’m not some great sage of wisdom, nor would I ever claim to be. When confronted with images and stories and truths which make my heart break, however, I write. It’s how I process the mix of raw through and emotion tumbling inside my head. I endlessly critique myself, and those with whom I am most closely linked. In our world of absolute everything, I find myself wishing for a “third way.”
Once the messages are reformatted I’ll go over them again and try to flesh out points I may have originally glossed over when they were preached. I’m not certain, but I may also add some devotional elements to the content – such as a brief introduction, and questions for meditation. My goal will be similar to the original presentation of the series. When confronted with the call to embrace worldly power, we Christians need to explore Jesus’ “third way.” I hope to be done some time in June, which means I’ll have to devote some time to it each day. I’m not certain how I’ll make the material available, but I may put it up on Amazon for a couple of bucks as a short ebook. Don’t expect some great missive urging a particularly political theory for our day. These sermons are really explorations of Jesus his day, with meditations on what the implications of his actions might be in ours. Mostly they are starting points to encourage thought, and little more.
- Make no mistake, however, his message held serious political implications in his day. It continues to do so in ours. ↩