Did Jesus Play Soccer?

Here’s the sermon I preached last Sunday. I turned 81 on Wednesday so I don’t have the chops to deliver it as well as I might have 5 or 10  years ago but it’s probably the best one I’ve ever written.

My main hope was that people would get it that Jesus claimed he didn’t have it any easier when it comes to loving than we do or Abe did.

I had coffee Tuesday morning with a congregant who said they’d been thinking about that since I offered it Sunday.  “I grew up in the Catholic Church” this person said “and I have a hard time getting my mind around the idea that Jesus was just like us.”

Hah! Does anyone who grew up in any denomination not struggle with the same issue?! Back in seminary I got a lot of blowback for saying, in my Philosophy of Ministry paper, that if Jesus was supernatural—as differentiated from super natural i.e., possessing no special abilities—how could I ever hope to model my life after his?

On the other hand my coffee date really liked when I said: “I won’t be surprised—if I ever get the chance to ask him—to hear Jesus say: “Yeah, old Abe and I had that in common.”

Here’s a link to the sermon:

Sermon January 22, 2023

It occurs to me that a big piece of the message is missing from the sermon by itself. It needs the children’s message which happened before the sermon. I asked them “what do you know about Jesus?” The first (and perfect) answer was “He loved.”

Wow! “And the little ones will lead them.”

I asked how tall was he? This quick response: “6’3”
What color was his hair? “Black”

I pulled my guitar out of the case and asked, did he play a guitar?
Did he sing? If so, tenor or bass?

I got varied answers for all these questions. I left out maybe the best question … did he play soccer? I’d bought a soccer ball at Big 5 and forgot it in the car so I didn’t get to ask if Jesus played soccer.

I closed the children’s message with the fact that we really don’t know a lot about Jesus do we, other than that he told stories. As if on cue the cutest little guy asked “like what story?!”
I said, like the one about how unless we become as little children we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.

My purpose, to get the adults to think seriously about Jesus’s humanity, was more than accomplished. After the service a guy said he’d never thought about whether or not Jesus was a singer. I asked if he had an opinion now. His answer: “Yes, I think he probably did sing. Not sure whether tenor or bass though.”

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