Isaiah 50:4-9a; Psalm 31:9-16; Philippians 2:5-11; Mark 14:1-15:47
“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us We tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward our image of God.” A. W. Tozer
A few years ago there was a movie “Bruce Almighty” starring Jim Carrey as a frustrated, discouraged news man who complains that God is doing a bad job of looking out for him. And then God shows up to defend himself—as Morgan Freeman. Now the premise of the movie—feeling that God is “out there” somewhere not listening—is something that most of us have dealt with at some time—but the way God is depicted—surprising? If I asked you right now what you think God looks like or sounds like, what would you say? What about those cartoons that show God as an oversized old man with a snowy white beard sitting on a huge throne on a cloud, holding a scepter or a shepherd’s crook. Is that the image that popped into your mind?
Or what about how you THINK about God . . . Is God a harsh judge just waiting to punish you? Or do you think that God is too busy to take care of you or think about you, and you don’t want to “bother God” about the things that bother YOU?
OR is God like a chess master, moving us about like pawns, with no interest in our thoughts or feelings or outcomes?
Originally preached Sunday, March 25, 2018
These thoughts or images might be cliché, but they haunt our sanctuaries and our worship—HOW we think about things is important—it influences everything we do. Think about this: the only god (notice the small “g”) that could endorse slavery would be a WHITE god; the only god that could approve of gender subjugation or inequality would be a male god. If God made us in God’s own image, as we read in our Holy Scripture, then both genders and all shapes and colors reflect that (mind blown). The way we think about God matters, because it influences us in ways of which we are rarely aware.
So what does that mean to us as believers who are here to worship our God as honestly as we know how? A lot. This morning we celebrate our worship on a day that we know as “Palm Sunday.” We just witnessed our kiddos waving their palm branches in a reenactment of that day long ago when crowds of people celebrated the coming of the King in Jerusalem. However, their understanding of that king was woefully, grievously mistaken. They were way off. It was right of them to worship, but their worship was misplaced. They were worshiping a king that they did not have—an earthly king who they thought was coming to upset the political system and get rid of those hated Romans. A king who should have been riding on a horse with a sword and a crown. The king who entered their city was a far different king than they expected and wanted. Who was that