Sunday, September 10, 2006

A Sermon to Ponder

Two months ago my pastor preached a sermon about the rejection of Jesus as the Christ in his home town. The people there could not see beyond the man they watched grow up. They could only see him as "the carpenter."

And that made me ask the question - "Did Jesus ever build a wobbly table for someone?" If He cut a board the wrong length, did He just say, "Fit!" and everything was good.

Today the lesson looked at a passage of scripture where Jesus responded with racist terms to a gentile woman who came to Him to heal her daughter. Perhaps, the response was to test the woman's faith. Perhaps the response was Jesus's humanity showing through His divinity. Whatever the interpretation of the response, it leads to an examination of one's personal Christology. Because the Bible teaches that Jesus was both man and God, there is the possibility that as a person, Christ was influenced by the society around him.

And that has had me pondering the question: if Christ, as a man, could be influenced by the society around Him, how much more so are we?

As an educator, though I am no longer at the campus level, I constantly consider the effect the decisions I make has on the staff and students of the 29 campuses I with which I work. When I make a decision, it creates a certain response from the people who work on the campus which leads to a reaction by the students.

At the campus level a certain environment develops. In some ways, each campus has it's own culture which evolves over time. Through systems theory, one can understand how changes take place and that the influence of certain key people can determine the entire climate that surrounds a place, just like the gravity of a celestial body determines the atmosphere which surrounds its mass.

I would be deluding myself to think that every move I made affected the effectiveness of each campus, but then again, with systems theory: a butterfly flaps its wings in a rain forest and a hurricane strikes the Caribbean. Given that understanding, I do consider the ramifications of all my actions on the 40,000 students.

No wonder I suck at relaxing.
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