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If Jesus wasn’t woke, what was he?

If Jesus wasn’t woke, what was he?
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Rev. Kelley Becker

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This winter, I’ve been preaching a sermon series that was born from a billboard I saw in Tulsa. The billboard was advertising a church, which is probably why it caught my eye in the first place. At the time, I knew nothing about this church except what I read on the billboard. It said the name of the church and identified itself as a church “Where Jesus Ain’t Woke.” Based on this billboard, I wondered if maybe woke doesn’t mean what I think it means because I most certainly would describe the Jesus I’ve read about, studied, and chosen to follow as “woke.” Obviously, my real curiosity was around what that congregation was learning about Jesus. If he wasn’t “woke,” what was he?

Since then, I’ve done some research on how the word “woke” is being used, both by people who think being “woke” is a good thing and people who do not. Some politicians are falling all over themselves to make sure voters know they are not “woke” and do not support “woke-ness.” On the campaign trail, they are using the word to criticize anything on the progressive side of the political spectrum, like teaching about racism in schools or gender transition policies, or even books and libraries they deem inappropriate. As the word has become politicized, its true meaning has gotten lost in the noise.



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