I am preaching for the next month at Somerset Church off of the Sunset Highway (US-26) here in Portland. I am REALLY looking forward to it.
I am preaching on John 1:12 and part of the verse which says, “to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become the children of God.”
My point will be that we as humans are not ALL children of God. We may all have been created by God, but we are not all children of God. Son-ship (child-ship in the gender neutral world) comes with legal rights and responsibilities. And this verse says that those who are God’s children are those who have received/believed in the name of the one who is described in that chapter as “the Word.” The very next verses (v. 14-17) identify the Word as Jesus Christ.
In thinking that through, I was reminded of the Michael Jackson song “We are the World” that was sung at his memorial service at Staples Center this week. It was a touching rendition of a touching song.
But did anyone else notice the symbols which were being flashed on the back screen as the song was sung? (They are pictured above). They have taken the symbols of world religions and fashioned them (along with a couple of others) to form the word “Co-exist.” The message (of Jehovah Witness turned Muslim Michael Jackson) is that all religions are on an equal plane and in the words of the song:
We are all a part of
God’s great big family
And the truth, you know love is all we need
We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
Unfortunately, it ain’t so. That is not the message that our world likes to hear, but it is the truthful reality we hold forth. At least it’s not part of the message I will bring on Sunday.
You haven’t seen many posts from me over the past few weeks, partly because I had a children’s fiction work to finish up, and partly because of the health crises going on in our family right now. But mostly it has been really hard to write a preaching blog when I haven’t preached for 5 months. It feels like I am a fake, a put-on: writing about something that I love and believe in, but people say I shouldn’t do anymore. We’ll see where this goes.
Wherever it goes,thanks for hanging in there with me.