Sunday, March 23, 2008

How To Handle A Public Lynching, by Rev. Otis Moss III of Trinity United Church of Christ.

Part 1:

Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.

Ah, an Easter Sermon. Actually, it is more of a Good Friday sermon delivered on Easter, because there isn't much about the empty tomb and resurrection. I must say that I love hearing African American preaching and Rev. Moss doesn't disappoint. The emphasis on our need to be gracious and forgiving while suffering is truly a Christian message. What is awkward for me is that I am not used to this theme on Good Friday or Easter. Yes, what Jesus did on the cross is an example to us which we need to remind ourselves of throughout the year, but on Good Friday and Easter, it is the crucified Lamb of God and the risen Lord that we focus on. It is the sacrifice that God planned for us before time began. I go to Jesus because I am a sinner in need of salvation. Maybe I am also being unjustly lynched figuratively and need someone to empathize with me and show me how to respond according to how God wants me to respond. Still, Easter is about the sins I have committed. Not the sins that someone else committed against me.


Delirious said...

I have to say that it is very refreshing to hear someone talk about sin and repentance. So many religions teach that belief is enough, that the very idea of repentance is like a slap to God's face. Of course, my response has always been that in my opinion, saying you believe while excusing your sin because of your belief is more of a slap to God's face.

I have to admit that it is difficult for me to listen to modern translations of the Bible. I love the King James version, and the words are like poetry to me. When they change those words to modern meaning, I believe that some of the meaning is lost, and much of the poetry as well.

Looney said...

Yes, it does seem that so many religious groups have embraced a feel good gospel. A loving God would NEVER require me to repent, but he might require the other person who annoys me to repent!!! Hopefully these kind of churches will empty out faster.

Sometimes when I am searching the Bible today, I still need to use the King James search engine due to my memories being in King James English. This is in spite of the fact that I have almost exclusively used the NIV version for 30 years!

Delirious said...

I finally think I understand what it is that bothered me about this sermon. You said it, but it didn't really hit home at first. This preacher's focus is on his audience and the injustices they have to face in their life, or the injustices their fathers faced. That is the major focus. I agree with you, an Easter sermon should be about the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for us, and about the miracle of the resurrection. It should be about his suffering for our sins in the garden of gethsemane. It should be about how his atonement allows us to over come sin and death. I'm sure this speech was uplifting and motivational for all, but it's missing the core of what Easter means to me.

Looney said...

Yes, you have said it well. I wanted to tune out the little things that bugged the TV commentators and just consider the sermon as a whole and evaluate it the way I would any other.