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The Passionate Jesus

Day1 host Peter Wallace's new book on the emotions of Jesus is, according to Marcus Borg, “An illuminating and powerful personal meditation." Ideal for personal or group study.

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The Rev. Dr. Ozzie E. Smith, Jr. The Rev. Dr. Ozzie E. Smith, Jr.

The Rev. Dr. Ozzie E. Smith, Jr., is pastor of Covenant United Church of Christ, South Holland, IL. He is also a trustee of the Alliance for Christian Media.

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Covenant United Church of Christ, South Holland, IL


Dr. Ozzie Smith on "The Heartbreaking Messiah"

September 11, 2009

This message is an Amen to the reality of what it can mean to follow Christ--heartbreak!!!  Our expectations of Jesus can often cloud our experience of Jesus and literally break our hearts.  To suffer is usually the last thing on a mind attuned to discount or duty-free discipleship.  Yet, Peter is all of us at one time or another dealing with the ebb and flow of faith.

Dr. Lose's introduction about the plethora of possible heartbreaks parks on every porch.  Yet, we can be encouraged to know that we are not alone on our porches of pain and loss.  Jesus is truth that getting up in heartbreak is possible.

Heartbreak is always a possibility--we have hearts that are available all the time for breakage--life is an equal opportunity employer and disappointer.  It is assurance we seek with Christ, not insurance.  Thanks Dr. Lose for a reality check on comfortable Christianity. Thanks Day1 for the lift!

--Ozzie Smith

 

UPDATE from the Rev. Dr. Billy Cox:

It is next to impossible to critique a sermon without critiquing the one delivering the sermon. Both are equally important. It's like the saying of the poet, Edgar Albert Guest, who said, "I'd rather see a sermon than hear one any day..."

While the content of the sermon is of the utmost importance, the body language, seen and unseen, of the sermon presenter is also important. Does the preacher convey the impression that he or she really believes in what they are saying? Or, is their presentation simply a performance to impress their hearers with how clever they are at public speaking, that is entertainment for entertainment purposes?

Upon reading the sermon, "Heartbreaking Messiah", by Dr. David Lose, one senses the pain in the life of Jesus at the betrayal of his closest friends. Also, one senses the pain in the life of Simon Peter over his denial of his dearest friend Jesus. Through this mixture of agonizing pain, we quickly detect that genuine love for another person is more than an affirmation of faith. Genuine love for another has to do with action. The love of Jesus for his disciples proved itself in his action. Whereas Simon Peter originally affirmed his love, but his action was short lived only to return after much heartbreaking pain.

One of the clues to understanding and appreciating this sermon by David Lose comes in the form of one's understanding and appreciation of David himself. He comes across not as a flamboyant pulpiteer prancing to and fro behind the pulpit, preaching without notes and with the use of many dramatic jesters, but a warm and caring person who as much as he could possible do understood the pain of the denial of Jesus by his closest friend, and who also understood the pain of guilt of Peter.

Listening to a sermon has as much to do with the person delivering the sermon as it does with the content of the sermon itself.

David Lose strikes me as a gifted preacher who wins his congregation as much with who he is: his attitude, his warmth, his ability to identify with the person sitting in the pew, their hurts, their pain and their desire to do better, as much as it does with what he has to say.

Both are equally important, the message as well as the messenger.

--Billy Cox
Louisville, Kentucky


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