Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sun. Dec. 15, 2013 (Thomas Bergen)

Thomas Bergen captured several of the infancy narratives of Jesus in a wide-ranging message that acknowledged our heart-felt appreciation of children’s plays, while extending our understanding of the gospel as an exploration of the identity of Christ - so much more than a baby in a manger.  The infancy narratives fulfill many other parts of the bible, particularly OT prophecy, and recognized that the gospel-writers were not historians, but theologians who sought to give us a sense of the identity of Christ. More than his genealogy (as Matthew wrote), and more than our career (as we identify ourselves today) Jesus is identified as the summa of history and tradition in Israel through the lists of its heroes, and yet providing the necessary bridge to the rest of the world through gentiles.  We are invited to identify with Jesus in countless ways: The scandalous unions throughout the bible are echoed in Jesus’ own birth to Mary, allowing him to share in the shaming meaning by which many come into the world.  Parallels abound - the struggle of Joseph, Moses and Pharaoh is echoed in Joseph, Jesus and Herod; the forty days of temptation echoes the 40 years of wandering, and Jesus as Caesar supreme even over Augustus, whose own godhead was thrown into question early on. The good news of God’s peace was brought by Jesus, not Augustus, and the longevity of his message, though important, isn’t half so critical as the relationship he still offers us all today.  Read about his story, but live his message with him in this Christmas season.  [AP]

Listen to the sermon audio MP3 recording from Sunday, December 15th, 2013 using your browser's preferred media player.



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