Someone once asked the brilliant
African-American preacher Gardner Taylor how many points a sermon should
have.  He said, “At least one.”  As I understand it now, at age 57, having
preached hundreds of sermons across thirty years, I really only have one point
I am trying to make in my preaching.  In
each sermon, I am looking for fresh images, new or renewed metaphors, parabolic-stories,
and unexpected turns of phrase which might open us to the startling news that God
is like Jesus. 

In God, as former Archbishop of
Canterbury, Michael Ramsey, said, “there is no unChristlikeness at all.”  Jesus is a flesh-and-blood reassurance that God
loves us now, always, and no-matter-what. 
God is for us, not against us. 
The Jesus-like character of God
provides me a working principle in my attempts to discern the voice of God in
scripture, experience, and culture: If I can’t imagine that Jesus would say or
do it, then it isn’t God who is saying and doing whatever it is I am hearing
and experiencing. 

Because God is like Jesus,
we are, despite all of our fears to the contrary, and even though there are
discordant voices which try to tell us that it couldn’t possibly be true, God’s
beloved sons and daughters, in whom God takes great and dancing delight.