Pastor's Notes

Notes from Walker Westerlage

These are some words from a sermon I preached in early May. They are worth repeating.

If my work as a pastor and a theologian does nothing else in the world, I wish it to do this one thing. That those in my care may know this: If you have been told that God is some kind of punishing, capricious, angry, counterfeit supreme being with a killer surveillance system, who is basically always disappointed with you for being a human being; then you have been lied to. The church has failed you and I am so sorry. For some reason, there is so much of Christianity that has felt more comfortable with a punishment and reward system than it is with living in the pure love and freedom that Jesus has secured for us.

So if you hear nothing else, hear this: that angry, punishing God is not the God I know. It is not the God revealed to us in the person of Jesus Christ. This Jesus who ate with sinners and tax collectors and was a contrarian of the religious authorities (because he was so clearly free from their control) and who loved, and healed, and forgave people indiscriminately, well, this Jesus was God's way of telling us who God is.