With all due respect to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, some of the stuff he said is down right impossible. Take, for instance, the entire Gospel lesson for Sunday, Matthew 5:21-37. Jesus sets the bar so high for his followers that it seems impossible to reach. I'm left feeling like the disciples after the Rich Young Man walks away sad, "Who then can be saved?"
Certainly not me.
Since FBC was born, I've gotten fairly good at holding my tongue. I don't yell in traffic as much, I don't mutter at Wal*Mart gawkers, I try to not be as vocal about my obvious superiority as I once was. (There really needs to be an agreed upon sarcasm font.) But I still think some of these things in my head and in my heart. As I said in my sermon on Sunday, I use, with some regularity, the word "moron" to describe my fellow human beings.
And Jesus says that condemns me to the fires of hell.
Divorce, slander, adultery, oath making, the list of stuff Jesus deals with in this section of the sermon on the mount is wide-ranging. Wide-ranging enough that it hits us all.
Who then can be saved?
There are no easy answers in the Gospel text for Sunday. No magic grace wand to wipe it all away. No happy clappy 1960s "I'm OK, you're OK" garbage to point to. Just a really high bar that everyone is expected to use as a starting point.
I'm really glad I'm not preaching.