This past Sunday, I used the old saying “you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar” as the basis for my children’s sermon. My point was going to be that Jesus was kind to everyone and was a blessing to them. He gave them hope. He continues to give us hope. But as I was putting it all together in my mind, I thought about a sermon that I had heard years ago. This sermon was making the point that Jesus was kind but he was far from being a wimp. I think that we can all agree on that. We know of times that Jesus actually displayed his anger such as at the people who were abusing their position at the temple to exploit others. And I believe that the fact that he was obviously quite fit from walking and from working as a carpenter can figure in as well.
As I contemplated this, I thought of other old sayings that could pertain to Jesus such as “an iron hand in a velvet glove” or “speak softly but carry a big stick.” Now I will be the first to say that those sayings don’t exactly apply but they do talk of a person who has power but doesn’t abuse it. As far as I know, Jesus never asked God to punish anyone who did not agree with him. In fact, the very poignant quote which we all remember is, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”
I believe that the hymn, “Lord, Whose Love Through Humble Service” explains it pretty well in verses three and four: “As we worship, grant us vision, till your love’s revealing light in its height and depth and greatness dawns upon our quickened sight, making known the needs and burdens your compassion bids us bear, stirring us to tireless striving your abundant life to share. Call by worship to your service, forth in your dear name we go to the child, the youth, the aged, love in living deeds to show; hope and health, good will and comfort, counsel, aid, and peace we give, that your servants, Lord, in freedom may your mercy know and live.”
I look forward to seeing you all on Sunday.