We all have dreams that are unique to our own vocations and personalities. As a speaker, I have many times awakened in the middle of the night after a dream that went something like this: I realize at the last minute that my sermon is on my computer at my house (this actually happened recently). I get to my truck to run back and print it off, but after I get to the house, my computer won’t work. I try everything and, all the while, I am looking at my watch. Slowly, the clock is ticking and I know worship has started and I am still okay, it won’t take but a second to send it to my iPad and I can still make it in time, and no one will really know. But nothing I can do will retrieve the sermon. When I finally get the sermon printed and I calculate that I can still make it to the church before I have to preach, and before anyone knows I am absent, I can’t find my truck keys. I am looking at my watch and now it is getting really close. In my haste I am knocking over stuff, leaving the house a wreck, and I am now in a cold sweat. When I finally get my keys and I am going to call ahead and tell the band to play one extra song or just let the greeting go on for a while (which people would love anyway), my truck won’t start and at this point, I am breaking out in hives and then mercifully I wake up.
A variation of that dream is that I am standing in front of an audience and suddenly realize I am naked. Yep, not a shred of cloths on my body – naked as the day I was born. I told you recently that I felt a little bit of this shame when I was talking to newcomers and realized in the middle of my talk that my fly was undone. That was painful. All of this is comical to say the least, but imagine what it would be like to actually be stripped of all your cloths in front of a sneering crowd that was riveted to the spectacle? I shutter to imagine…
And yet, that did happen to Jesus. His last worldly possessions, his garments and inner garments were removed before the leering eyes of a multitude. He bore it, all while elite soldiers, dressed in the regalia of military power, pitched dice for his garments. Just days earlier he had come into the city as a King, with people throwing their garments down so he could pass. They shouted praise and hailed him as Messiah. Just the night before Jesus had spoken a word as guards came to arrest him, just one word, and the soldiers fell dead. Yet here he takes it. He bears it. Why? I hope you are curious, we will talk about it Sunday.
Also we have a bunch of new members joining this Sunday. What a great day! I don’t know about you but I can’t wait.