June 1

Impossible Perfection

On the last week of the Easter season, we have a busy day ahead of us. Today, Brayden Young is claimed by Jesus Christ through baptism. Owen, Erika, and Hannah will celebrate their first communion after studying the meaning of the Lord’s Supper. And Brent and Lucas have arrived at one of the major passages of life, the end of high school while entering the next step of education toward their vocations. And though there is not a specific celebration today for him, we also recognize John Juergens, who is graduating from Otterbein University.

Moving from one step in our journey to the next, there maybe times when we reflect on how we have handled the past. Usually we can find things that we wish we had done differently and enter the new phase of life with hope and excitement. A time when we hope that things will go as planned. Yes, we plan, organize, and schedule to a fault, and then become irritated when things don’t go our way.

No matter how thoroughly we have planned ahead, no matter how sure we are of our future, no matter how well we think we know the way, there is one thing for sure, the journey never goes completely according to our plans. And that is not something to be held against you, or at least not as a measurement of your worth as a person. Unfortunately, we have created a society that defines your worth as a person by how productive you are. We see those who have accomplished much to be worthy and those who have done little to be worthless. That is not what God’s purpose was for creation.

In today’s text, there is a specific sentence that got my attention. Verses 2 and 3 from The Message version of Scripture reads, “You put him [Jesus] in charge of everything human so he might give real and eternal life to all in his charge.” Jesus was perfectly divine and perfectly human. We on the other hand, are imperfect humans desiring to be divine.

So where would you start if you were put in charge of everything human? Would you eliminate violence, hunger, or disease? Would you seek justice for those who have been mistreated? Would you provide for those who have nothing? To be put in charge of everything human is a huge task, isn’t it? So what did Jesus do when he received that charge? He gave eternal life. Wow!

Here is God in the flesh, the only One who can do anything to fix broken humanity, and he gave love, forgiveness, and mercy. While we see perfection as righting all the wrongs in this world, equalizing the unequal, rearranging in order to create balance, Jesus answer was love. An overwhelming and endless supply of love and forgiveness for EVERYONE, remembered in communion.

In our baptism we are claimed by Christ. He came to us because we cannot be ‘good enough’ on our own. Worldly possessions, good works, and social status, which the world uses as measurements for acceptability, do not improve your lovability to God. He wants your trust and your love, and he wants you to share it with those around you. When things don’t go perfectly, and they never will, it has no bearing on your acceptability to Jesus Christ.

Your ‘success’ in life is about following your calling, your passion, your conviction, and doing them to the best of your ability (perfectly imperfect) while using those gifts to point to the one who gave them to you, Jesus Christ. True joy and fulfillment comes through Christ alone, and nothing else. Amen.