Virgin Birth of Jesus: What do You Believe?

Virgin Birth? Yea, right…

What do you believe about the Virgin Birth of Jesus? It’s a fair question…

Have you thought about it? If you aren’t Christian, it’s probably one of those things that make Christianity a stupid religion. If you are a Christian: maybe you believe in the Virgin Birth of Christ simply because you’re told to do so. Or, maybe you believe Mary had other children. Maybe the Virgin Birth doesn’t matter to you…I mean, what difference does it make, right?

Virgin Birth Bible SecretsDon’t act like it’s not a question, on some level! I mean…even the History Channel has a series claiming #BibleSecretsRevealed where they assert that the idea of a Virgin Birth is a misrepresentation of biblical prophecy. The History Channel wouldn’t make such an assertion if there wasn’t enough interest in the question.

Our tendency is to downplay St. Mary’s virginity. Modern translations of the Bible replace “virgin” with “young woman.” And, suggestions that Mary had marital relations with Joseph after the birth of Christ are gleaned from misunderstandings of the text.

But, what does it all matter? What do you believe about the Virgin Birth of Jesus?

Without the Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ, the religion of Christianity is reduced to rubble. Without the Virgin Birth, Jesus would be a mere human with no share in Divinity. Some may say it’s ridiculous that the Word of God would be born of a virgin. But, would it not be more ridiculous to assert that the Creator was born through natural relations? That would be suggesting that God was brought into the world by human effort!

The Virgin Birth of Jesus by St. Mary is meant to redeem the virgin birth of Eve. For, while Eve was a virgin she listened to the serpent and gave birth to Death. Yet, while Mary was a virgin she listed to the angel and gave birth to Life! Where the seed born of Eve banished us from the Garden, the seed born of Mary opened for us the way to Paradise!

The importance of the Virgin Birth of Jesus by St. Mary is the topic of exploration in this sermon:

Mandela and The Incarnation: Being Born to Die that Others might Live

This week, the world mourn’s the passing of Madiba, Nelson Mandela. Sitting with my parents on Friday, my mother posed the question: “who is left?” Who is left, that the world will mourn?

In his speech at the memorial service for President Mandela, President Obama said that “We will never see the likes of Nelson Mandela again.” And, while that is likely true…that’s a sobering thought. It would be one thing to not need to see the likes of Nelson Mandela again. It’s another thing altogether to not see the likes of Madiba because no one remains on earth with the courage of Madiba.

Clearly, we have a need for a Mandela. And maybe Pope Francis will stand in the vacuum as one calling humanity to righteous heights, for the shitstorm is far from over. For beyond the cycle of violence that created the social giant, Mandela, we face the reality of despair across humanity. Brother still kills brother. Oppressor still victimizes the vulnerable. Injustice abounds.

Yet, the season of Advent presses on toward the Light of Christ. And as the great theologian, the Honorable Robert “Nesta” Marley said: “Someone will have to pay for the innocent blood, that they shed everyday…how we and them ah go work this out?”

The Incarnation is God’s answer to that question. Isaiah shows us that the chaos and confusion is brought into balance when the Word of God is made real in the lives of the people. Note: I’m not saying this happens when baby Jesus all cute and cuddly is born over 2000 years ago. Rather, I am intentional to say when the Word of God is made real in the lives of the people.

Find out why we must allow the Word to become real…relevant in our own lives and in the lives of others.  Accept the Rod and receive the Flower. Then, let me know what you think?

They Need Jesus | Isaiah 2:1-5

It tell you: we Christians are something else.

I know I’ve said it. You know you’ve said it. Certainly, you’ve heard others say it.

Watch the news for an hour. Drive through the hood. Go downtown and hang out at the coffee shop near the club on a Saturday night. You’ll have that moment when you find yourself saying: Oh, they need Jesus!

And, that might be true…matter of fact, that is true. But, how can they have Jesus if the Church keeps Him buried under the quagmire and filth? They need Jesus, but can’t see Jesus because those who claim to love Jesus relegate Him to obscurity.

But, this is Advent! And, in this season of the Christian Life we endeavor to prepare for the Incarnate Word. This preparation is more than some perfunctory exercise to honor a suckling baby in a manger. Rather, the preparation we should make is one of getting into position to make Christ incarnate (real/tangible) in this world.

The gift of the Incarnation is found in that the King of Glory saw fit to come into the world, so that He could die for our redemption. We ought to be that kind of gift for each other.

The point of the Incarnation is that the Word, Who was, in the beginning, became flesh among us. It is that same Word that will become flesh at the appointed time when the Lord will come again in the flesh, and dwell among us.

With all the degradation and despair we see around us, truly they need Jesus. The people need Jesus, and Isaiah prophesies that in the last days the Church will become exceedingly visible and exalted above all other options. When this happens, the people will be reconciled to the body of Christ.

The people need Jesus. But, for them to have Jesus the Church must reveal Him to the people…

So, to that end…here’s today’s sermon: The Church Must Get Into Position

Christ is Born for This

Christmas is in full effect!

The commercials have started…the sales have begun. Lights have started going up in the neighborhood.

I could do the standard Christian post about consumerism run amuck…removing Christ from Christmas. But, I won’t do that. I’m going to assume we all understand that Christ is the reason for Christmas. And from that assumption, a greater question arises: who is this baby that will be born.

We all have conceptions and misconceptions about why Christ is born. Ricky Bobby says it best:

And, while we might not be this extreme there is much confusion over the Nature of this Child. This was all brought to focus as I looked at the Gospel reading for today (Luke 23:33-43). I mean, this is the Sunday before Advent – the season in the Church calendar that culminates in Christmas (the Incarnation) where we prepare for the Word to be made flesh. And, rather than a passage talking about this Child we find a passage talking about the Crucifixion.

Why are we talking about the Crucifixion as we enter into the season where we prepare for Christmas? Why are we talking about Jesus’ death, as we enter into the season where we prepare for His birth? And, why is this Sunday proclaimed as the commemoration of “Christ the King?”

What kind of king is this? For, this king is hanged on a cross. When others look for Jesus to save Himself, He remains on the Cross and we are reminded that Christ is born for this!

Jesus Christ is not the King you expected. Unlike the Tankard’s would have you believe, He wasn’t born for “us all to be millionaires.” He wasn’t born to establish our stature in society as God’s new chosen people…the exceptional and select few who are ordained to rule the world. Jesus wasn’t born to call us out of suffering. Rather, Christ is born to die! Jesus Christ is born ultimately to call us to join Him on the Cross…that we might die with Him.

Who, then, is the King that is to be born into the world? What, then, should be the focus of our preparations?

I offer my sermon from today: Jesus Christ is Not the King You Expected | Luke 23:33-43