… our rules, expectations, and boundaries are inherently already broken …
One of the characteristics of Jesus and Paul is their constant pushing at the commonly accepted barriers that separate us from each other. These are those expectations built into the social contract forming particular behavior. They define us as to who we are and what is expected of us. Jesus and Paul often touch this ‘third rail’ of proper society and the result is often ‘shocking!’ “Breaking Barriers” is our sermon series to address those issues starting next Sunday.
These barriers are about the rules, ethnicities, the expectations of identity, associations, and age that dominate cultures and the institutions, both religious and secular, emerging over the course of time. These understandings are short hand ways of making it through the day. When someone messes with those boundaries, there is confusion often leading to anger and rejection.
The series starts this Sunday, August 30, with “Breaking Rules” addressing the concerns of the Pharisees and experts in the law who push back at the poor job that Jesus is doing supervising his disciples. In the sermons that follow we will see Jesus “Breaking Ethnic Boundaries”, “Breaking the Expectations” people had of the Messiah, and “Breaking the Age Barriers” that were commonly understood. Finally, his “Breaking Cliques,” well known both in school lunch rooms and the workplace as well as places of worship.
While these are all issues in the Jewish society back in the day, we have seen over the centuries the leadership of his Spirit doing the same thing in countries and cultures. It is not so much an effort to affirm that ‘rules are made to be broken’ as it is a recognition that our rules, expectations, and boundaries are inherently already broken as they lack the wisdom, love, and grace of God.
Accompanying the Gospel of Mark readings will be passages from the Epistle of James. This letter is an example of an emerging social consciousness in the young faith that is still living in the synagogue, but stretching out beyond the Law of Torah. These are the vital issues of the first century of Christianity which continue to stress the church today. Join us for these five Sundays and allow Jesus to push at your limits and open your imagination to a God that is greater than you think.
Grace and Peace,
Rev. Ed Light