Jesus was executed by empire and that is the fate for anyone who speaks out against empire’s abuses. But that is why we are here. The church is no social club for the suburban well-to-do. This is the place to face truth and to do something about it. We do so in the tranquility, in the trusting peace that empire’s worst is not the last word.
I am not going to go into all of the business of Roman imperial theology this morning. It is after all getting close to Christmas. Family is here and everyone is dressed nicely. The children presented such a lovely gift to us.
But I do want to leave you with a provocative thought.
You have to have guts to hope. You have to be willing to take chances, to define what it is that drives you, to stake a claim, and know that you will get your butt kicked more often than you care to. But knowing that helps you know also, that a butt-kickin’ isn’t the end of you. It’s just a lesson. Sometimes, you can get a butt kickin’ in as well.