Faith Matters

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By REV. DR. BRIAN GIGEE

 “Down With Jesus!

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.  He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.  He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.  Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God…” –John 1: 9-12

The world seems to shout sometimes a bit louder than the Church… “Down with Jesus” … as people in our country jockey for sides… some saying that God is our problem and Christians aren’t helping bring people together… it’s a difficult time for some to sort things out and so we hear it from others, “Down with Jesus!”

Even some of our closest friends and family members have joined in… “Down with Jesus,”as they try to make sense out of lost jobs, illnesses not cured, marriages that have fractured, etc along with unanswered prayers covering a host of “gimme” petitions and personal requests that even if God wanted to say “yes” to would end up being in collusion with the most selfish of behaviors… and to say nothing about our involuntary participation in a global pandemic!  Faith matters. What we believe about God and ourselves certainly makes a difference…

“Down with Jesus” … words that we hear and may even say ourselves… but words that cannot and will not rattle Jesus’ desire to bring joy and purpose to everyone who believes… and don’t worry…he’s used to it… he can take it… because the words, “Down with Jesus”have a whole different meaning to him than they do to his detractors and those who keep trying to discredit his work and proper place in history… thus becoming good words for people like us in times like this…

Think of it this way… as it came to pass… all the angels in heaven, archangels, cherubim, and seraphim shouted out… “DOWN WITH JESUS!!!”  And then led the way… the   advance guard sharing a message of the ‘new life’ God was bringing to the creation… announcers to Mary and Joseph God was up to something BIG!

And what transpired?   “The Light blazed out of the darkness; and the darkness couldn’t put it out!”   St. John wrote… his opening gospel message… “Down with Jesus “… you betcha and watch out now as the best was yet to come…

Jesus did come down… becoming one of us… IMMANUEL… “God–with-us “… here… now… God incarnate… God in the flesh… God for all!

And how did that go?  King Herod tried to snuff his young life out… “Down with Jesus!”    The people of Nazareth tried to throw him off the cliff… “Down with Jesus” … The Pharisees and Sadducees tried to do him in… “Down with Jesus” …   and when the mockers and scoffers of Jesus gathered at Pilate’s courtyard… they insisted on… “Down with Jesus”… and the soldiers shouted…”Down with Jesus,” too, on his way to the cross… words he was already familiar with… words declared by angels and archangels… words announced by his Father and words echoed by the Holy Spirit… words reminding him of his life’s purpose… GOD COME DOWN…giving up his crown…to die for people like us who miss the mark too often…

So, “Down with Jesus” can only mean one thing… “Up with US!”… “Down with Jesus” giving grace for the world… “Down with Jesus” … the victory cheer of God providing a model for the Godly life…  So, the next time you encounter one of God’s detractors… hearing… “Down with Jesus,” … just agree as it’s the power of God come down to God’s children so that we would be God’s light and life in the world…

The Rev.   Dr.   Brian   K.   Gigee   is   a   long-time resident of Pearland, having pastored four churches over the last four decades in Texas and Louisiana.  Read more following Brian’s blogmurmuringsat https://briangigee.wordpress.com/.   Send comments and/or questions to [email protected].

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