Sunday, September 28, 2008

About to Go Live with John 5

A few quotes from today's sermon on John 5:

Describing the scene:

"Suffice it to say that no less than three times a year, hundreds of thousands of “God’s people” made their way to “God’s city” to “God’s house” to worship “their God."

"A chaotic crowd of “holy people” coming for justification. The right people coming to be made right."

"I wish I had time to paint a better picture for you of the painful scene of the hundreds, perhaps thousands of hurting people outside of that smelly entrance to the holy city."

"I wish you could see the way that the covered colonnades became a hospital for the helpless."

"If you could only hear the pain filled cry’s and see the hope less eyes of that heap of humanity."

"Think Calcutta more condensed or Haiti more hideous."

Describing the man:

"I wish I had time to drill down in the state of the man whom Jesus heals. I’m not a doctor but we could unpack the atrocious atrophy that has afflicted this man’s body."

"How 38 years of no or very limited mobility has wrecked havoc on his muscles and bones. How he most likely suffered from sarcopenia which begins to rob nutrients from the bones and organs in a feeble attempt to rebuild muscle mass and how his body was in essence, eating itself to death."

Describing the irony:

"There are several ironies in this story. The first is the location of the pool. Most scholars agree that this pool, which has been escavated, is next to the Temple. The man laid within eyesight of the religious leaders for 38 years. The “church people” didn’t lift a finger to help the guy who couldn’t lift a finger."

"The name of the pool is uncomfortably ironic for in Hebrew is Bethesda and means “the house of mercy or grace” The guy laid helpless by a pool called “grace” for 38 years and no one showed him a drop of grace!"

"Ironic? Yes. Pathetic? Yes! Symptomatic of the selfish and slothful and sanatary religion of the day? Yes."

"Of our day? Of our church? Of any church? Surely there is somewhere in American where a guy in the house next door to the church is broke and contemplating suicide and they (that church 'out there') don’t know his name because they (or is it we?) hurry up and get in there (here?) to “get fed”, sing Amazing Grace and rush back out the door to lunch."

"Perhaps most ironic is the fact that some of these people had seen the need for 365 days a year for 38 years and done nothing about it and Jesus sees him one time and is moved to action."

"The “Good Temple Going Folk and the “Shepherds of Israel” see him 13,870 times and the Good Shepherd sees him once."

"Here’s even more irony or perhaps tragedy: Maybe they never saw him? Maybe they weren’t even looking."

Perhaps I'll post more later today? Perhaps I'll post my resume? You know what they say about preaching as a profession: "you're only one sermon away."

Good thing for me, prophetically proclaiming the Word of the Lord is not a career, but a calling.

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