The good people of Denver put their spiritual lives at risk by asking Nadia Bolz-Weber to preach before the myriad (look it up)-large throng at Red Rocks on Easter Sunday. I thought that maybe Nadia would borrow an idea from Watermark Church in Dallas and build a massive version of the Bridge Illustration so that she could walk across the Cross:
(I shit you not. You can watch the video here. You may wonder, as I did, if the illustration breaks down a bit when three stagehands show up to lower the Cross over the chasm.)
I personally would have loved to see Nadia walk over the chasm. But, alas, she decided instead to preach the gospel. Here’s her nutshell description of what Jesus was all about:
Once upon a time, the God of the Universe was basically fed up with being on the receiving end of all our human projections, tired of being nothing more to us than what we thought God should be: angry, show-offy, defensive, insecure, in short, the vengeance-seeking tyrant we would be if we were God. So, at that time, over 2,000 years ago, God’s Loving Desire to really be Known overflowed the heavens and was made manifest in the rapidly dividing cells within the womb of an insignificant peasant girl named Mary. And when the time came for her to give birth to God, there was no room in our expectations – no room in any impressive or spiffy or safe place. So this God was born in straw and dirt. He grew up, this Jesus of Nazareth, left his home, and found some, let’s be honest, rather unimpressive characters to follow him. Fishermen, Tax collectors, prostitutes, homeless women with no teeth, people from Commerce City, Ann Coulter and Charlie Sheen. If you think I’m kidding…read it for yourselves. These people were questionable. So, with his little band of misfits Jesus went about the countryside turning water to wine, eating with all the wrong people, angering the religious establishment and insisting that in him the kingdom of God had come near, that through him the world according to God was coming right to us. He touched the unclean and used spit and dirt to heal the blind and said crazy destabilizing things like the first shall be last and the last shall be first, and sell all you have and give it to the poor.
And the thing that really cooked people’s noodles wasn’t the question “is Jesus like God” it was “what if God is like Jesus”. What if God is not who we thought? What if the most reliable way to know God is not through religion, not through a sin and punishment program, but through a person. What if the most reliable way to know God is to look at how God chose to reveal God’s self in Jesus?
You can read the rest on Nadia’s blog, where she also has links to the video.