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If you prefer reading, below is the script I used for this video. It’s not word for word, but it’s close enough.
STUDIO NATHANIEL Hello neighbor. I'm Nathaniel. Welcome to Reluctant Sermonizing. Today we're starting a Christmas series where we're raising questions, specifically one question: God is with who? Immanuel means "God with us" but who is "us"? Some people seem to think it's a rather small group of people, but I think this needs a second look. So each week we're going to break down a part of the Christmas story and see what we get. If you want, hit the subscribe button to get the whole series. TITLE NATHANIEL So let's start with the Christmas story Dante's Inferno. Ok, that's not a Christmas story, rather it's a medieval book about a guy on a guided tour through hell. But I remember my professor saying the book held knowledge as the way to heaven. Now his interpretation or my memory might be wrong, but I do remember bristling. Knowledge is something we earn. We educate ourselves. And as a good Evangelical kid I was quite certain we can't earn our way into heaven. But then you look around and see Sunday School and Bible Studies and realize all the stories and things we're supposed to believe to be a Christian and go to heaven are portions of knowledge. Ok, actual Christmas story. There's a bunch of shepherds. Uneducated, illiterate shepherds. They don't know squat. At this time the God of the universe happens to become a dad for the first time. The family dynamics are a little complicated, but this God gets excited. And like any knew dad after a bit he starts making phone calls, though his are more angelic. So who does he call first? Does he ring up Bible scholars in their dreams? Leave voice mails with priests? Text the most accurate Rabbis? No. This God goes to the know nothing shepherds. And seriously these shepherds wouldn't have a clue what was going on. It's not like they had some idea for a "plan of salvation" or anything like that. The disciples didn't, so why should these shepherds. But The Divine was just there, with them. As a child I remember being afraid of brain injuries and things like alzheimer's. I knew sometimes people couldn't remember or they couldn't think the same way or their personalities changed. I was afraid of losing my salvation because I lost some function of my mind and didn't believe like I was supposed to. What if I forgot who Jesus was? My Grandma on my dad's side had alzheimer's before passing, and I've met many people with intellectual disabilities. If you've had experiences like mine, then you know the divine is with them. So the Divine is with, who? Those who've learned the answers? Who knew the right prayer to say? Who educated themselves on what story to believe earn God's acceptance? Or is the nature of the Divine more like the character of God in the Christmas story, throwing a party to celebrate with a bunch of ignorant shepherds because... it's divine. END TAG NATHANIEL Hey! Thanks for watching. Today was shepherds. Next week will be magi or wisemen their connection to the late Freddy Mercury of Queen and the baby Jesus. Be sure to subscribe. And merry Christmas.
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