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Friday Greetings - March 1

Untamed God

Jesus wasn’t a nice man. Does that shock you? We typically use “nice” to mean “kind,” but in our culture (especially Southern American culture), “nice” has accumulated additional baggage. In addition to kindness, we’ve added politeness, meekness, and conflict-aversion. In North Carolina, a “nice” person doesn’t interrupt others when they’re talking, speak bluntly, complain openly, or “rock the boat.” 

Jesus didn’t hesitate to name hypocrisy among religious people who prided themselves on their piety and knowledge of scripture. That isn’t nice. He never avoided confrontation with the religious leaders who wanted to silence them. In fact, he often “poked the bear” by starting the ruckus himself. And in this Sunday’s lectionary gospel reading, John 2:13-22, Jesus drives the moneychangers out of the Temple with a whip, turns over their tables, and runs off the sacrificial animals, all while shouting angrily at them. That isn’t nice.

Can you imagine your pastors doing such a thing? How many would turn away embarrassed and think to ourselves, “That’s not nice. That’s not the way a pastor should behave.” 

Yet the fact remains that Jesus wasn’t nice. He was neither meek nor mild, and he wasn’t gentle with people who were cruel to others. What would your own Christian behavior be like if you took that image of Jesus seriously and conformed yourself to it? Is there something that makes you want to turn over the tables?

You can hear more at our worship services this Sunday. All three of our pastors are preaching, so you have an opportunity to hear three different messages. Take advantage of it, either in-person or online!

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