Welcome Home

Welcome Home is the theme.  Part one: Jesus is Offensive.  That is such a liberating thought isn’t it?  You don’t need to dance around when you witness.  Own it.  You will offend some people with Jesus.  It’s not only ok – I would say it’s really good.  AND I am quick to point out to people who hesitate to invite a friend to worship or who shy away because what Jesus has to say is NOT politically correct.  Just imagine what would happen to Jesus on Twitter or Facebook!

Let me just bring up one example of offense.  A pew research study from a year ago found that half of all Christians said it was acceptable to have sex outside of marriage.  This has nothing to do with homosexuality.  This is sis-gendered straight Christians and this is obviously not God pleasing.  Welcome Home – Jesus is Offensive.

This past week I went home.  That home town for me is Richfield, MN.  I thoroughly enjoyed my time with family.  However for the Christian being at home means that we are at home in the Word.

There is a temptation for us to see the studies like the one I just refenced from Pew Research as something that touches other people, but not us.  I don’t believe that.  You could look at divorce rates, addiction, abuse and it all touches Wisconsin Synod Lutherans.  Maybe not at the same rate as “the rest of the world” but don’t be naïve.  We aren’t immune to sin.  Jesus never promised that we would be.

What I want you to take away today is that you can be home not in the world, but in the Word.  That means that when you are tempted, you know that God will provide a way out.  That’s faith in action.

Being at home in the word means that you can find God’s love and forgiveness not because you were captain of the football team, but because you are a failure.  This concept of a Homecoming is complicated for so many.  So many of the people that I meet have broken the relationships in their lives so badly that they can’t be fixed.  They can’t go home.  Not so with Jesus.

What I’m saying to you – is that this message of forgiveness and redemption isn’t just for everyone else.  It’s for you.  It’s for all those people in the Pew Research survey who got it wrong.  It’s for everyone who just got a little busy.  It’s for the people who simply don’t know.  Their parents never took them to church and they don’t know what they don’t know.  Come home to the Word.  It is there that you find forgiveness and acceptance in Jesus.  Welcome Home.

Want to hear more?  Watch this week’s message taken from Mark 6: Welcome Home.