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Only Human – Faith Perspectives

Only Human
Faith Perspectives – January 10, 2018

By Rev. Nate Wollenberg
Trinity Lutheran Church – Hoyleton

The other day, I was listening to one of the various podcasts that I consume on a regular basis, and this one in particular was focused on issues related to the end of the current NFL season.
I would say in general that I’m more of a baseball fan than a football fan, but occasionally I like to take time to focus on the news happening across all sports.
Now that the NFL playoffs are underway, the conversations seem for the most part to be focused on what is going to happen in the future, beyond the Super Bowl, into the offseason, where coaches are hired and fired, players are evaluated and drafted and signed, and teams change drastically, some for the better, and some for the worse.
What struck me as I was listening was that the commentator referred to a player who hadn’t performed as well this year as he had in seasons past.
The comment made was, “He showed us this year that he is truly human.” That got me thinking, “Why do we always seem to use that word – human – in a negative sense? Why is it that we seem to take for granted the fact that if something is ‘human’ it must be flawed, disappointing, weak, or inadequate?”
Well, spiritually speaking, a lot of that comes from our experience. The truth is that all of us are conceived and born sinful.
All of us on our own are flawed and inadequate. In fact, the entire human race has been experiencing this kind of brokenness since the fall of Adam in the Garden of Eden.
So because this has been our situation for so long, it seems like many of us within the community of faith have just accepted it as “normal” to believe that humanity itself has nothing good in it, and that the true message of Christianity is that we want to escape this earthly life and live as disembodied spirits in heaven for all eternity.
But consider this: in order to redeem us flawed, inadequate human beings, God entered into our world as a human being!
Jesus Christ, whose incarnation and birth we celebrated just a short time ago at Christmas, showed us through His human life – through His words and His actions – what true, perfect, flawless humanity actually looks like.
Because Jesus is a true human being, we know that “being human” isn’t our problem. Living on earth isn’t our problem, either.
Our problem is and always has been the sin that has infected us from the beginning.
But, thanks be to God, Jesus solved that problem for us by dying on the cross, by rising from the dead, and by bodily ascending into heaven!
So now, let us live as human beings who for Jesus’ sake are forgiven for their flaws and inadequacies, not simply waiting until the day we can escape our earthly bodies, but embracing our role as the hands and feet of Christ for a dying world.

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