Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Word became flesh: looking again at Jesus II

A sermon from John 1.1-14: Part II
Introduction: What do you see?

Image from here
Do you remember those 3D Magic Eye pictures that were all the rage a few years ago? If you held the book at the right angle and squinted your eyes and looked into the middle distance and thought about nothing and stood on one foot, then you still couldn’t see the image? Or maybe you were one of those frustrating people who could always see it without trying. Or maybe you pretended you were, because you didn’t want to look stupid when everyone else could see it.

Maybe Christianity feels a bit like that to you. Everyone seems to get it, or pretends they do. They speak as if God were real, they act as if it’s normal to think some guy came back from the dead, they tell you they feel God’s love, forgiveness or presence. But you just don’t get it and you’re faced with the choice. Do you admit your blindness and call it all a hoax, or do you go along with the crowd, saying the right words, doing the right things, in order to fit in? Is this a familiar feeling?

Of course, there’s a third option. To keep looking. To look again.

This series on John’s gospel over the next few weeks is an invitation to look again at Jesus. Perhaps it’s never ‘clicked’ for you, the stories of Jesus seem so many coloured dots on a page. Or maybe church seems too familiar, these services feel dull and lifeless, the readings say what you expect and you’ve stopped really looking. Jesus is like a piece of furniture you no longer even notice. Your spiritual life feels like you’re simply going through the motions. Look again. Whether you’re puzzled by him or have simply grown too used to hearing his name, Mary’s son from Nazareth is worth a second look.

And John will be our guide. Most readers notice that the fourth Gospel is somewhat different to the other three. It is at once more straightforward, and yet contains hidden depths. Perhaps John had reflected for longer on the overwhelming and life-changing experience of living with Jesus. He has thought carefully about how to invite us to look at Jesus, and then look at him again. John is book not only worth reading, but re-reading. Our passage has three key terms and we’ll look at each in turn: the word, the light, and flesh.
Ten points for the first to see the magic eye puzzle.
Series: I; II; III; IV; V; VI; VII; VIII; IX; X.


the don said...


good thoughts bro! i look forward to this series!


Anthony Douglas said...

I'll claim them if noone else wants em. It's a bear. Looks cuddly, though the bones are off-putting...

byron smith said...

There is indeed a bear in there and a chair as well. Ten points. I'm not keeping a monthly tally at the moment.

Josh, there's more to come - I'm just about to post the next one.