Asbury United Methodist Church
Love - Share - Tell - Serve

November 1, 2017

Have you ever considered that Jesus had every reason in the world to have been a failure?  He was born to a teenage girl who was out of wedlock at the time of conception.


          The man Jesus’ mother ended up marrying was not his biological father.  Jesus’ real father was out of this world!


          He was born in a nasty barn!  And, after Jesus was born, his mother and step-dad went on the lamb with him.


          Yet the Bible declares, “…the government will be upon his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6 KJV).”

          Jesus was born into the most dysfunctional situation imaginable!  Yet, for over two thousand years, he is still changing the world.


          It is easy to toss off Jesus’ enormous accomplishments by simply making the statements, “Well, he was the son of God after all!”


          But our faith tradition claims this is inconsequential because Christ was fully human.  This means that he had choices and if he’d chosen differently with his life, who knows what the world would be like today. 

          Instead, Jesus clawed his way out of poverty and ceaseless rejection.  The circumstances regarding his birth and early life were not factors in holding him back.


          And, Christ had every reason to fail!  He could have taken on a stance of insecurity and lived into a life of negativity.


          Jesus could have chosen to make a case based upon his rejection and constant harassment from the religious leaders of his day that since he stood no chance of success, he might as well just live into the control drama as a failure.


          But, he didn’t!  He didn’t buy into the way that he should have turned out, given his life’s circumstances because he knew his Father’s cause was everything!


          To put it simply, Jesus understood that the mission was more important than he was.  The mission was everything; and, he lived into the mission!


          It has not gotten by me that everyone on earth has the same opportunity to turn their lives around by living into the mission!  Jesus came to save the world! 


Each new day that we are given is a grace!  And, each of us is given a brand-new opportunity each day to make life purposeful by living into the mission.


By choosing to make the mission our life’s priority, we become deliberate in the ways we live.  This means that not only are we able to endure the tough times but actually thrive because of them.


Finally, from a certain point of view…unless we can claim to have been born into the same set of dysfunctional circumstances as Christ, none of us has any real excuse to play the failure card.


I am reminded of Jesus’ last conversation with the disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane.  Upon finding, Peter, James and John asleep yet again, he said to them, “Rise!  Let’s go (Luke 14:42a NIV)!”


These same words apply to each of us!  Do not let failures have the last word!


Put the mission first over everything!  Rise!  Let’s go!  The Lord has need of us!



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