I posted this on Facebook this morning. If you’re preaching or hearing from the Revised Common Lectionary, or still steaming about the Church of England’s “baptism lite,” you might find some fodder in this:
Those preaching (and hopefully those preparing to hear a sermon) this Sunday: the lesson from Hebrews 2 (Revised Common Lectionary) says, “Since God’s children share flesh and blood, Jesus himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death.” If you’re not wasting a sermon on Super Bowl allusions/jokes, are you touching on this verse? Given the recent dust up in the Church of England, which is proposing to remove specific reference to the devil from baptismal rites, might it be worth pointing out that this passage says that Jesus shared our human nature specifically to defeat the devil? Or are you OK with, “Jesus existed as a human being to give us a good example of earthly life so that we, by our efforts, could overcome a purely symbolic enemy (the devil), defeating the ‘evil’ he represents by holding the right opinions on issues of our day”? Because if the devil isn’t real, then the mission of Jesus described in the Bible isn’t real, either, and we’re left with a bunch of memes and symbols. And if that’s all it is, please, stay home, catch up on your sleep, get that beer and munchies and just observe Super Sunday. While holding all the right opinions on issues of the day.