Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for February 6th, 2019

True Worship

Image result for Peter kneeling before Jesus in the boat

“…when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” 

The congregation at Jesus’ hometown synagogue think they have Jesus all figured out.

53 And when Jesus had finished these parables, he went away from there, 54 and coming to his hometown he taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works? 55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? 56 And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” 57 And they took offense at him. (St. Matthew 13)

The disciples report the scuttlebutt about Jesus and the way many had Jesus all figured out:

13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” (St. Matthew 16)

This tendency toward theories about Jesus have had quite a brisk sales in books, movies, and plays in our day.  C. S. Lewis wrote about this in the 20th Century:

“Any theory which bases itself on a supposed “historical Jesus” to be dug out of the Gospels and then set up in opposition to Christian teaching is suspect. There have been too many historical Jesuses—a liberal Jesus, a pneumatic Jesus, a Barthian Jesus, a Marxist Jesus. They are the cheap crop of each publisher’s list, like the new Napoleons and new Queen Victorian. It is not to such phantoms that I look for my faith and my salvation.” (from his essay, “Why I am not a Pacifist”)

Almost every year at Christmas and/or Easter, there is some report on a new take on the Lord contrary to the Scriptures.  In the 20th century there were two popular musicals/operas about the life of Christ:  Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell. In the former He is portrayed as a puzzle , yet a ‘superstar’ and in the latter as a clown. Evangelicals have portrayed Him as football coach, liberals as a revolutionary or a teacher alone.  These, even if well-intentioned, are, “…set up in opposition to Christian teaching”.

This coming Sunday’s Gospel reading is St. Luke 5: 1-11 and after the great catch of fish, Luke reports, “…when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”  When the pagan magi worshiped the infant Jesus, they fell down before the Lord.  There are so many times when people fell down, knelt and worshiped Jesus. Even the demons do (Mark 3:11-12). 

Would I, or anyone for that matter, want to fall down before a Marxist revolutionary?  Or a clown?  A liberal Jesus? A puzzle? Those portrayals and writings about Jesus do not draw forth worship. Why?  All those portrayals are not real.  They are men’s inventions as are all of our idols. They are “phantoms”.   The actual and real Biblical report shows us the fact that in Christ is the Father’s love made manifest to even  God shedding His blood on the Cross for us. A shadow portrayal is only a projection of the unregenerate flesh.  Note:  none of these man-made portrayals can point us to the One Who, “God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God” (The Nicene Creed).  Only the real God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son (cf. St. John 3: 16). All man made portrayals, depictions and theologies are blood-less.    As they are bloodless then they are loveless.  When we read for ourselves that Christ is indeed died for us, the love of God fills us with His mercy to love as we have first been loved. 

T hey are “phantoms”.   The actual and real Biblical report show us the fact that in Christ is the Father’s love made manifest to even  God shedding His blood on the Cross for us. A shadow portrayal is only a projection of the unregenerate flesh.  Note:  none of these man-made portrayals can point us to the One Who, “God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God” (The Nicene Creed).  Only the real God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son (cf. St. John 3: 16). All man made portrayals, depictions and theologies are blood-less.    As they are bloodless then they are loveless.  When we read for ourselves that Christ is indeed died for us, the love of God fills us with His mercy to love as we have first been loved. 

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: