“My Jesus” by Todd Agnew

Which Jesus do you follow?
Which Jesus do you serve?
If Ephesians says to imitate Christ
Then why do you look so much like the world?
 
Cause my Jesus bled and died
He spent His time with thieves and liars
He loved the poor and accosted the arrogant
So which one do you want to be?
 
Blessed are the poor in spirit
Or do we pray to be blessed with the wealth of this land
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousness
Or do we ache for another taste of this world of shifting sand
 
Cause my Jesus bled and died for my sins
He spent His time with thieves and sluts and liars
He loved the poor and accosted the rich
So which one do you want to be?
 
Who is this that you follow
This picture of the American dream
If Jesus was here would you walk right by on the other side or fall down and worship at His holy feet
 
Pretty blue eyes and curly brown hair and a clear complexion
Is how you see Him as He dies for Your sins
But the Word says He was battered and scarred
Or did you miss that part
Sometimes I doubt we’d recognize Him
 
Cause my Jesus bled and died
He spent His time with thieves and the least of these
He loved the poor and accosted the comfortable
So which one do you want to be?
 
Cause my Jesus would never be accepted in my church
The blood and dirt on His feet would stain the carpet
But He reaches for the hurting and despised the proud
I think He’d prefer Beale  St. to the stained glass crowd
And I know that He can hear me if I cry out loud
 
I want to be like my Jesus!
I want to be like my Jesus!
 
Not a posterchild for American prosperity, but like my Jesus
You see I’m tired of living for success and popularity
I want to be like my Jesus but I’m not sure what that means to be like You Jesus
Cause You said to live like You, love like You but then You died for me
Can I be like You Jesus?
I want to be like my Jesus

"My Jesus" by Todd Agnew

Which Jesus do you follow?
Which Jesus do you serve?
If Ephesians says to imitate Christ
Then why do you look so much like the world?
 
Cause my Jesus bled and died
He spent His time with thieves and liars
He loved the poor and accosted the arrogant
So which one do you want to be?
 
Blessed are the poor in spirit
Or do we pray to be blessed with the wealth of this land
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousness
Or do we ache for another taste of this world of shifting sand
 
Cause my Jesus bled and died for my sins
He spent His time with thieves and sluts and liars
He loved the poor and accosted the rich
So which one do you want to be?
 
Who is this that you follow
This picture of the American dream
If Jesus was here would you walk right by on the other side or fall down and worship at His holy feet
 
Pretty blue eyes and curly brown hair and a clear complexion
Is how you see Him as He dies for Your sins
But the Word says He was battered and scarred
Or did you miss that part
Sometimes I doubt we'd recognize Him
 
Cause my Jesus bled and died
He spent His time with thieves and the least of these
He loved the poor and accosted the comfortable
So which one do you want to be?
 
Cause my Jesus would never be accepted in my church
The blood and dirt on His feet would stain the carpet
But He reaches for the hurting and despised the proud
I think He'd prefer Beale  St. to the stained glass crowd
And I know that He can hear me if I cry out loud
 
I want to be like my Jesus!
I want to be like my Jesus!
 
Not a posterchild for American prosperity, but like my Jesus
You see I'm tired of living for success and popularity
I want to be like my Jesus but I'm not sure what that means to be like You Jesus
Cause You said to live like You, love like You but then You died for me
Can I be like You Jesus?
I want to be like my Jesus

Be Like Jesus

Jesus has sent us in the way that the Father has sent Jesus. In John’s Gospel we hear Jesus speak nearly 60 times about being sent or sending. See these refrences here and here.

And 1 Joh 2:6 says, “the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.”

Todd Agnew has a song that talks about what Jesus was like, and how the church portrays a sanitized Jesus. My Jesus Video.

In what ways does choosing to be like Jesus challenge the way you live?

Week of 3/24-3/30: John 20:19-31 – As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”

19 When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 22 When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” 24 But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.” 26 A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” 30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.    (NRSV)

NOTES:
·      So much here to work with – ‘as the Father has sent me’: in the same spirit, with the same purpose, same goal (to seek & save the lost; to the sick, not the well; etc)
·      We are not called to sit and invite, we are SENT!
·      As the Father has sent (me – apostello)  — so I send (pempo) you. These two words are used by Jesus nearly 60 times in John’s gospel alone.
Questions for reflection:  
·     How was Jesus sent by the Father? What does Jesus say about this in John’s gospel and elsewhere?
·     What does that mean for us in our own lives of faith? If I am sent by Jesus in the same way that Jesus is sent by the Father, then what is Jesus asking of me, what has he given me, how will I go, where and to whom?
 
PRAYER: God the Father, who sent Jesus the Son into the world, hear our prayer today. Thank you for calling us to follow the Christ, and in following, to accept being sent to the world, for the sake of the world, that the world might know your love. Rid our lives of anything that might hinder your work in us and through us. To the glory of your name and the spreading of your reign of peace. Amen.
Upcoming Texts:
 
Week of 3/31 – 4/6:  Luke 24:13-35
Week of 4/7 – 4/13:  John 10:1-10

Week of 3/17-3/23: Psalms 114 – The Awesome Presence of God

Sermon 032308

1 When Israel went out from Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language, 2 Judah became God’s sanctuary, Israel his dominion. 3 The sea looked and fled; Jordan turned back. 4 The mountains skipped like rams, the hills like lambs. 5 Why is it, O sea, that you flee? O Jordan, that you turn back? 6 O mountains, that you skip like rams? O hills, like lambs? 7 Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob, 8 who turns the rock into a pool of water, the flint into a spring of water.   (NRSV)

NOTES:
v1-2 – When God rescued Israel from bondage and slavery in Egypt, God then chose to dwell in their midst…
v3-7 – The Creation is shaken with awe at God’s glory, power, and mercy (loving-kindness) (Mt 28.2)
v.8 – God’s redemption includes quenching of thirst – Water from the rock – Exodus 17:6
Questions for reflection:  
·     From what experiences of bondage and slavery has God already, is God currently, or does God desire in the future to lead us from?
·     What does it mean in our lives that God would choose us as
o       a dwelling place,(‘sanctuary’) – Ezekiel 37.27; Ephesians 2:22
o       a ‘dominion’ – another word for kingdom – Luke 17:21(KJV)
·     How might that relate to Jesus teaching us to pray “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth (in my life!) as it is in heaven”?
·     How have we responded to God’s holiness as the creation does in vs 3-7?
·     In what ways have we experienced God quenching our thirst in the midst of dry times on our journey toward the fulfilling of God’s promises?
·     How might all of this relate to our experiences of Holy Week and Easter?
 
PRAYER: God who redeems us and sustains us, who seeks to dwell within us and among us, teach us to yield to you today. Help us to see how Jesus lived out his complete trust in you during his final week, even to the cross. Grant us the grace to believe in and see your redeeming works among us, and
to proclaim them to the world. May our lives tremble and quake with the whole creation in awe of you. Amen.
 
 
 
 

Week of 3/10-3/16: Psalms 118 – Give Thanks

Sermon for 3/16/08
1 O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever! 2 Let Israel say, “His steadfast love endures forever.” 3 Let the house of Aaron say, “His steadfast love endures forever.” 4 Let those who fear the Lord say, “His steadfast love endures forever.” 5 Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me in a broad place. 6 With the Lord on my side I do not fear. What can mortals do to me? 7 The Lord is on my side to help me; I shall look in triumph on those who hate me. 8 It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in mortals. 9 It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in princes. 10 All nations surrounded me; in the name of the Lord I cut them off! 11 They surrounded me, surrounded me on every side; in the name of the Lord I cut them off! 12 They surrounded me like bees; they blazed like a fire of thorns; in the name of the Lord I cut them off! 13 I was pushed hard, so that I was falling, but the Lord helped me. 14 The Lord is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation. 15 There are glad songs of victory in the tents of the righteous: “The right hand of the Lord does valiantly; 16 the right hand of the Lord is exalted; the right hand of the Lord does valiantly.” 17 I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord. 18 The Lord has punished me severely, but he did not give me over to death. 19 Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord. 20 This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it. 21 I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation. 22 The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. 23 This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. 24 This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. 25 Save us, we beseech you, O Lord! O Lord, we beseech you, give us success! 26 Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. We bless you from the house of the Lord. 27 The Lord is God, and he has given us light. Bind the festal procession with branches, up to the horns of the altar. 28 You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God, I will extol you. 29 O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.   (NRSV)
NOTES:
The psalm is set as a congregational song, with the opening verses a call and response between the leader and people. It may have its origins in a personal challenge, or a community struggle against enemies. Either way, the psalm calls us to rejoice and give thanks because of the saving work of God on our behalf. Understanding, experiencing, and believing in God’s saving works seem a prerequisite to this experience of giving thanks.
Psalms 100 & 107
Questions for reflection:  
·     When have I experienced God’s saving work?
·     Where would I like to experience God’s saving works in my life, where would I like to see them in the world?
·     How can I proclaim these works to others and give evidence of them so that others may believe and give thanks?
PRAYER: Gracious God, we help us to recognize the blessings that we receive from your hand, and thereby turn our hearts to praise you. May we never fail to give you thanks and praise for your goodness toward us, and to tell throughout our community all you have done. Help us to live gratefully before you, O God. Amen.
Upcoming Texts:
 
Week of 3/17-3/23: Psalm 114 – The Awesome Presence of God
 

Week of 3/3-3/9: Psalms 130 – Wait & Hope

Sermon 030908
Psalm 130: 1 Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord. 2 Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications! 3 If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand? 4 But there is forgiveness with you, so that you may be revered. 5 I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; 6 my soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning, more than those who watch for the morning. 7 O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is great power to redeem. 8 It is he who will redeem Israel from all its iniquities.  (NRSV)
NOTES:
Psalm 130 was likely written around the time of the Assyrian & Babylonian Conquests (790-444 BCE). So, we look to the writings of the prophets for context and understanding Israel‘s theology of “Waiting on God” & “Hope”.
Micah 7:7 Therefore I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; My God will hear me. 8 Do not rejoice over me, my enemy; When I fall, I will arise; When I sit in darkness, The Lord will be a light to me. 9 I will bear the indignation of the Lord, Because I have sinned against Him, Until He pleads my case And executes justice for me. He will bring me forth to the light; I will see His righteousness. (NKJV)
Isaiah 40: 7 Why do you say, O Jacob, And speak, O Israel: “My way is hidden from the Lord, And my just claim is passed over by my God”? 28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. 29 He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. 30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, 31 But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.  (NKJV)
 
Questions for reflection:  
·     Where in my life have I experienced what happened to Israel & Judah when they failed to follow God and honor God’s ways, and thus were conquered by their enemies?
·     How can I wait on God?
·     For what do I most hope from God?
PRAYER: 1 O Lord, my heart is not lifted up, my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. 2 But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; my soul is like the weaned child that is with me. 3 O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time on and forevermore.  Amen.   (Psalms 131 – NRSV)
Upcoming Texts:
 
Week of 3/10-3/16: Psalm 118 – Give Thanks
Week of 3/17-3/23: Psalm 118 – Give Thanks