Saturday, May 24, 2008

More Thoughts on Memorial Day Worship

I am still drafting my sermon for this sunday. I am preaching a series on Jesus. I wanted to preach some sermons on the work of Jesus in life and not through death and resurrection. The idea came as I browsed Brian McClaren's website. I haven't read his book 'the Secret Message of Jesus,' but the chapter titles really got me thinking.

this weeks sermon is a brief overview of the politics of Jesus. I am looking at Yoder, Herzog Hanson, and Wright to get a general overview. I am preaching the now famous phrase 'Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and unto God that which is God's'

It has occured to me as I study that the politics of Jesus included both criticism of the Roman Empire and an unwillingness to be aligned with Jewish Nationalism. Instead, Jesus preached the Kingdom of God. It has made me think of all the times that I bought into Democratic or Liberal language to think about an issue or debate a topic, when in reality, I should be niether Liberal or Conservative, but simply and radically Christian.

But this leaves Memorial Day celebrations in a difficult place in my own mind. Memorial Day is a celebration of the many who have given their lives in defence of this country and democracy, and that deserves recognition. But there are certainly conflicts that the US has engaged in that were more about expanding empire than defending democracy. While the soldiers have given themselves faithfully and of good will, their leaders failed to send them to battle for their intended purpose, defence of democracy. How then to proceed? How to honor the soldiers without sanctifying violence and war that is an affront to God?

Is honoring of combatant a part of worship?

1 comment:

VanceH- said...

Hi Darin, Your question reminds me of one of my favorite passages --Joshua 5:13-14

And Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us, or for our adversaries?” 14 And he said, “No; but I am the commander of the army of the Lord. Now I have come.” (ESV)

The theophany made it pretty clear that Joshua was asking the wrong question...

Doesn't answer your specific question, but it's fun seeing a false binary destroyed...

-- Vance