Pastor’s Letter — February, 2017

Why is Jesus so Amazing?

Dear Friends,
Why is Jesus so Amazing? Well, Jesus is God.  However, in Christian belief it is even more
amazing than that. We believe that Jesus is fully God and fully human. We believe that Jesus is
part of our God expressed as the Trinity (three), comprised of God (the Creator), Jesus (the
Redeemer), and the Holy Spirit (the Sustainer).  We believe that at the very heart of God is
relationship. God exists in relationship the Father (creator), the Son (Redeemer), and the
Holy Spirit (Sustainer).  Our triune (three in one) God longs for strong and healthy relationships with us, and strong and healthy relationships between us. I believe that it was this deep longing that moved God to send Jesus into our world. But Jesus did not come as solely God safe from any dangers (for nothing is capable of hurting God). Jesus came as fully human and fully divine as vulnerable as we are to each other and all parts of this world. I find it remarkable that God would so completely seek a relationship with us! That alone makes Jesus amazing.

What Jesus’ taught was also amazing and awesome. In our lectionary cycle we are about to begin Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount,” Matthew 5:1-7:28. Here Jesus shares with those who have chosen to follow him: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” This is one of
the most daring requests in scripture or anywhere else and as Martin Luther King said “hate cannot
drive out hate only love can do that”.

In Matthew 6:19 Jesus shares with those who have come to learn: “Do not store up for
yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and
steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consume.
and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be
also.” Again in 6:34 Jesus advises the crowd and us: “So do not worry about tomorrow, for
tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Great advise for all
of us who love to worry! In Matthew 7:1 Jesus teaches: ‘Do not judge, so that you may not be
judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the
measure you get. What we put into life is what we will get out of life!

Jesus welcomed the people with leprosy, he ate dinner with prostitutes, and he cared about those
who others rejected! He loved all, and sought out everyone no matter who they were. The Bible
tells us that while Jesus was on earth the kingdom of God was near and Jesus was curing every
disease and sickness among the people. Through the love that Jesus lived, taught and for which he laid down his life the world can be healed!

And at the “Last Judgment of the Nations” Jesus in Matthew 25:31-46 tells us that salvation comes from caring for others: “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.”

Jesus had profound care for those who are left out of society. I believe that our world becomes a healthy place when the kingdom of God comes near and that happens as we open the door for Jesus to come into our lives. The love that Jesus has for us is so great that he laid his life down for us as he was placed on the cross. But Christ’s love will not die, for God raised him from the dead and through Christ all people are welcomed into paradise. Jesus calls us into a strong relationship with him and through that, good relationships with our world. Sometimes I wonder if the leadership of our nation and our world has any idea what will heal this world. Truly the love of Jesus Christ, undying, and seeking all people is where our healing and the healing of our world can begin. Jesus is amazing and the more you learn, the more amazing he is!

Peace,
Pastor Eric