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Lenten Sermon Series: What So Good about Good Friday?
The Third Word: Woman, Behold Your Son

John 19:23-27, NRSV


Christianity served as a revitalization movement that arose in response to the misery, chaos, fear, and brutality of life in the urban Greco-Roman world…. Christianity revitalized life in Greco-Roman cities by providing new norms and new kinds of social relationships able to cope with many urgent problems. To cities filled with the homeless and impoverished, Christianity offered charity as well as hope. To cities filled with newcomers and strangers, Christianity offered an immediate basis for attachment. To cities filled with orphans and widows, Christianity provided a new and expanded sense of family. To cities torn by violent ethnic strife, Christianity offered a new basis for social solidarity. And to cities faced with epidemics, fire, and earthquakes, Christianity offered effective nursing services…. For what they brought was not simply an urban movement, but a new culture capable of making life in Greco-Roman cities more tolerable.
— Rodney Stark
The Rise of Christianity

  • Ordinary care (physical)
    • Care for well being of Mother Mary
    • Not just forgiveness of sins, or renewal of the soul, but ordinary matters to Jesus too
    • God has not forgotten you in this physical world
    • You may grow indifferent to God, but God does not grow indifferent to you
  • Savior’s Grace
    • Grace to John: even with failures, he can always go back to Jesus, to the foot of the cross
    • In the mist of “failure”, John goes to Jesus
    • Do people come to you when they feel they have failures? You having Savior’s Grace?
    • He recommission John in ministry, to take care of His Mother
  • New Creation for the world: like the birth of a new baby, the new creation of community, with spiritual transformation
  • To be “clothed with Christ”: feeling shameful is not when we did something wrong, but when we think something is wrong with us, like being naked

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