Today I felt compelled to research the oral presentations and sermons of Jesus. Why were they so motivating? So Controversial? So Loving? It was through these words that a new system of how to live outside the Roman and Jewish system emerged.
One of the most "famous" sermons that Jesus gave was the "Sermon on the Mount" Some of the major points that stuck out in my head when I read it was:
Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.
I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.
If your right eye causes you to sin,
tear it out and throw it away.
Let your 'Yes' mean 'Yes,' a
and your 'No' mean 'No.'
When someone strikes you on your right cheek,
turn the other one to him as well.
just as your heavenly Father is perfect.
What I find interesting about my own younger church experiences is that pastors have created sermons that are more judgemental and more related to sinful natures then the idea of us coming from "perfection." I always seen "sin" as a blessing, because from there we grow and become better people. That is not to say that we must wallow in our sins, but acknowledge our own wrongdoing and move past it. I actually don't like using the word "sin" as a universal word for wrongdoing because there have been sins that have been created, deleted, changed throughout human history, so what is a sin for one person, wouldn't be for another, but we must all use our spirit and intelligence to see what is really good for all of us. Sermons or speeches are much more productive when you can point out that there is something wrong with a system, and it can be changed because our hearts, mind, and soul can do so. It is like breaking something down, and building it back up.
One speech that I have recently watched which follows this model is ObamA's speech about race and his connection to his pastor's views on political issues. When I tell you I was moved, I was! He really handled it very well, and I'm not just saying this because I have a huge crush on the man. I truly felt a connection when he spoke. Here is the video if you havn't seen it:
You can also read the text: HERE
So here I am this Easter, proud to be part of a linage of great Christians who have faith in Jesus Christ, and also a proud Black American who sees that even if our political system, theology and racial & sexiST judgements may be flawed we can still be the "Light of the World" and "Be Perfect like our Heavenly Father."