The human desire to be free from complexity and ambiguity, to be in control of the whole truth is as old as our first ancestors in the Garden of Eden. That desire led to sin, the results of which continue to infect us today. Yet, as we confess in worship, we who are captive to sin are daily forgiven by God through Jesus Christ and freed to walk in newness of life. In baptism God poured out on us the Holy Spirit, gracing us with a new identity and sending us forth equipped through the Spirit’s power to live as disciples under the cross.
Jesus’ earthly life bears witness to what discipleship under the cross involves. Far from proclaiming a Kingdom of God free from ambiguity and complexity, Jesus entered into the messy middle gray areas of people’s actual lives. Listening attentively to their stories, he proclaimed the Kingdom in which God through Jesus embraces people precisely in the midst of the complexities and ambiguities that are the “stuff” of their lives. In this Kingdom, the need to be right gives way to the call to be faithful in making the healthiest decisions possible in the less-than-clear messiness of life. It is into this Kingdom that we were baptized.
This message is adapted from “Absolute Truth?” written by Gwen Sayler in the October 2012 issue of Gather magazine.