The Fourth Sunday After Epiphany 2023
Series: Freeing Jesus Book Study 2023
The second chapter of Luke’s gospel reports the angel’s joyful announcement to the shepherds, “Do not be afraid…to you is born this day…a Savior.” Working our way through Diana Butler Bass’s Freeing Jesus, we’ve considered what it means to experience and know Jesus as Friend and Teacher – as one who both invites us into loving union with God and who teaches us how to become all that God created us to be. This week we come to perhaps the most common, familiar, and often misunderstood name for Jesus – Savior. Likely, we’ve all seen the signs and bumper stickers – Jesus Saves - or the billboards that invite us to ask Jesus to be our Savior today. Western, and Protestant Christians in particular, give a lot of airtime to Jesus as Savior. So, what does it mean, to say that Jesus saves or that Jesus is our Savior? Bass hopes we’ll come to see that it is about far more than avoiding hell and “getting our ticket punched for heaven”. The salvation Jesus brings is personal and social and involves the transformation of our lives and the world so that all experience freedom, joy, and loving union with God both now and in the life to come.
Rev. David Hockett
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