One for the home team: Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12

This posting is mainly for the Universalist National Memorial Church members and attenders who visit this blog, but if you’re not one of those, there’s no need to avert your eyes.

Next week’s sermon is entitled, Jesus Christ, the Son of God which is already enough of a particular theological affirmation that Jesus is the Christ, and that he is the Son of God to make some UNMCers quaver and others swoon. After all, we run the gamut. My priniciple preaching text is Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12 and there’s no doubt that it is heady stuff.

What I want to do in the pulpit is overcome the temptation to overlook this passage because it makes some people uncomfortable and actually deal with what the writer of the Letter to the Hebrews it getting at.

If you like, use the comments section to, well, make comments, while I will be using the “continue reading” section (nothing in it yet) to put tidbits that I find during the week’s sermon researching.


  1. Well, I will say this … whatever “son of God” might mean, the meaning of the phrase here is perhaps about as non-trinitarian as one might expect to find in the Christian scriptures. First, the reading says that Jesus is “the reflection of God’s glory” and the “exact imprint of God’s very being.” I find myself comparing this to the Genesis story, in which men and women are made as bearers of the image of God. I suppose the “exactness” of the image reflects the fact that Jesus has become “perfect” (which isn’t exactly divine” through his suffering. What gives Jesus his power, the reading goes on to note, is neither his divine nor his perfect status, but the sustaining power of “his powerful word.” I think again of the Unitarian formula of Martineau, whose recitations have it that we are saved not by our Lord Jesus Christ, but saved by the teachings of Jesus Christ.

    Again, in the final verses of the reading, the writer seems to repudiate the idea of Jesus being the “only begotten son” of the Father. The “one who sanctifies” (which I take to be Jesus) and those who are sanctified (which I presume to be everyone else) “all have one Father,” presumably in consonance with the idea that we are all sons and daughters of God, all children of God, and that Jesus is our brother, in that he says to God that he “will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters.”

  2. Hebrews is a fascinating text to me in that it has a clear Neo-Platonic mysticism. The Universe is portrayed as 2-fold, with the human-earthly, and the heavenly-perfect. And this last part can be hard to hear for those working in a strictly naturalistic world-view where reality must be strictly one-fold (the natural fold). But this 2-fold view can be liberating for folks with more mystical bents, as it opens the door for a relationship between our flawed mortal existence, and the ideal existence that is heavenly. For my own part I tend to view reality as 2-fold: the natural fold I see through my scientific training; and the spiritual fold of meaning, significance, and ideals that I have found through my religious experiences.

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