Sermon: Redeemed

…our flaws and our failures are not counted in God’s judgment of us. What counts is our willingness to do what is right, even if we don’t succeed. … It’s the Heart that matters, not the Head…. God judges our hearts.

gettyimages-660179780-1024x566This morning, I thought we should tie up some of the loose ends I’ve left from our last two sermons.

Two weeks ago, in the sermon “Very Good” we learned that God sees only the goodness that is an inescapable part of who we are; and which God deliberately put into us at the very beginning. All are just as loved by God as we are; and all anyone needs is a revelation of this Love; a love which heals us from all of our iniquities.

Last week, on Palm Sunday we remembered that we’ve all betrayed Jesus, even God betrayed him. And that we cannot help but muck things up, because muckiness is also a part of who we are.

In other messages I’ve given here, we’ve talked about how – because we are conscious of ourselves, and have the freedom to choose right from wrong.  Then we must have the right to fail. This is also part of who we are. And, we not only can fail, we must. We must  have the freedom to fail, and will, even though we don’t want to.

These messages are somewhat at odds with each other. Two weeks ago, we talked about how we are all, in our heart of hearts, “Very Good” and that God sees the goodness in us, and is determined to save us for that reason.

But last week I said we are creatures of sin, we are always making choices that increase our separation from God. This seed of corruption is buried deep within us: and is a very necessary seed.  If we are to be worthy of Love, and not simply puppets of the Almighty, then God must allow us to be able to distance ourselves from God. We must have the right to fail. We must have the right and power to betray others, even betraying the Son of God himself.

So, how do we reconcile all this? Yes, we are, ultimately, Very Good: beloved children of God. And yet, we killed the Son of God through the sin that is part of who we are.

And, how does this all tie into our hope for redemption, for our salvation which is promised by virtue of Jesus’ Resurrection?

First, let’s begin by talking about sin.   When we refer to “sin”, what are we talking about?

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Fearless Girl / Charging Bull

gettyimages-660179780-1024x566A bit of a kerfluffle has erupted in the last few days over the “Fearless Girl” sculpture on Wall Street in New York City, created by Kristen Visbal.

As most of you know, on the morning of International Women’s Day, “Fearless Girl” was set up facing (and, in fact confronting) the famous “Charging Bull” sculpture on Wall Street.  “Fearless Girl” is intended to make it clear that the time of Wall Street and major firms being a “mens’-only” club is over.  Women have long deserved the right (as well as convincingly earned the right) to have an equal role in the leadership of this nation’s business community and its many firms and organizations.

Now, the artist who created and installed “Charging Bull,” Arturo Di Modica, is taking offense at the way “Fearless Girl” changes how the public looks at his own work.  He wants “Fearless Girl” removed, and is suing the City to try and force this to happen.

But really, is this a reasonable argument?

“Charging Bull” was a piece of guerrilla art itself, secretly installed one night after the Stock Market crash of the 1987.  The artist saw it as a symbol of prosperity and strength.

But, it has also become a symbol in the years since of the dominance of capitalism and forcefulness of American business.

And that’s precisely the problem…

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