This sermon is part of the sermon series "Piecing Together the Puzzle of Life". See series.
For more than 1600 years, Christianity occupied the head seat at the vast communion table that came to be called Western Civilization. Appearing at a time when the Roman banquet was breaking up rapidly, Christianity provided a compelling vision of human identity, purpose, and ethics that breathed renewal into the Empire's lungs, and long outlasted it.
At the core of Christian thought was a luminous vision of relationships?—of the ultimate interconnectedness of all things?—the visible and the invisible, the earthly and the heavenly. Christians believed that all things had begun within a God whose internal life as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit was relationship in its very essence. Made in God's image, human beings were to live in transparent, loving relationship with God and with one another. They were to live in a creative and respectful relationship with the earth (or "Garden," as Genesis terms it) and with all the other creatures that inhabited it.
Christians believed that it was the sinful disruption of these vital connections, that brought a Fall from the state of Grace in which humanity had been living. All the subsequent pain and loneliness, the injustice and conflict, the wandering and wounding were all seen as the result of this basic relational brokenness. But God, Christians declared, would one day restore the unity that had been lost. He would heal the division between God and humanity, between rich and poor, between Jew and Gentile, male and female, slave and free. As Paul put it in Colossians 1, it was God's aim to "reconcile to himself all things."
Christians believed that, as a beginning of that redemptive process, God had come to earth. The life of Jesus was all about picturing ...
This sermon is available to PreachingToday.com members only.