From my sermon prep for this week about the baptism of Jesus:
We believe that Jesus is God, yes, but we need to be careful that we don’t make him “too sacred.” By that, I mean that Jesus is not set apart from the world.
Some religions look at their founders and heroes as people who escaped the darkness and pain of the world. Jesus embraces dirt, disappointment, disgust and disease.
Some religions look at their founders and heroes as symbols that must be venerated, never questioned or mocked. Jesus doesn’t need to be protected, he asks to be followed.
Some religions aim to achieve a sort of God-ness. Jesus was a man, and call us to live fully into our humanity.
Some religions provide a license to demote other people to less than ourselves. Jesus invites us to join the lowest of the low.
If we take Jesus identity seriously, we need to as ourselves “who or what do I despise?” We need audit our hearts and our actions and ask: Who did I ignore? Who did I avoid? Who did I mock? Who do my choices hurt? Chances are, those are the kind of people that would line up with Jesus at the river with John the Baptist.