SERMON TITLE: “Meditations on the Cross: The Redemption of God”
SERMON TEXT: Colossians 1:9-14, 19-20
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: April 10, 2022 at First UMC
Because I’ve been preaching a series of meditations on the cross, Karen Miller brought me a cross that had been given to her as a gift from Sylvia Brooks. You may not be able to see it well from where you are, but this cross is decorated with the treble clef musical symbol. Along with the cross came a cardboard tag that Karen never removed because it holds a Musician’s Prayer that goes like this:
When music is a prayer, a sacred melody,
it’s like a special love song, a perfect harmony.
A heart that’s filled with music, whose love for God is strong,
is the heart that’s full of worship, and whose life becomes a song.
Music certainly is a prayer of worship. The Psalms, which today we usually think of as something to read, were actually songs that the Jewish people sang. So, on Palm Sunday, as the Passover celebrants waved their branches and processed along the parade route through the gates of Jerusalem, the crowd was also singing Psalm 118: “This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Save us, we beseech you, O Lord!”
Those worshipers were singing a traditional song of their faith, and they were praying for God’s salvation to come. We don’t really know what they expected. On that parade day when they hailed Jesus as their savior and king, did they know that they would soon be shouting “Crucify him!”? Did they know that their salvation would come through Jesus’ death on a cross?
All through this Lenten season we’ve been pondering what exactly happened when Jesus died. In so many ways, it was a horrific and unjust tragedy. And yet, God was able to take the foolishness of the cross and turn it into the power and wisdom of God. We’ve also seen how the cross offers us salvation through the love of God, the Lamb of God, and the Great High Priest of God. Last Sunday, we talked about how the cross helps us experience the reconciliation of God in our vertical relationship with Christ and in our horizontal relationships with other people. And today, in this final sermon in this series, I invite you to consider our scripture text from Colossians, chapter one. Let’s see how the cross leads us to the redemption of God.