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Omaha, Nebraska, United States
I am more and more convinced that most congregations die from a staggering lack of imagination. Let's change that. Let's imagine a creative future with God and each other together. Drop me a line on email or leave a comment if you have thoughts on God, Jesus, congregations, the church or whatever.... I look forward to our conversations.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Seeing Jesus

I saw Jesus of Nazareth once. In the reflection of a plane window. He looked like this.   I was pretty sure at the time that Jack Daniel's had more to do with me seeing Jesus, than with Jesus wanting to be seen by me.

Little did I know at the time, traveling back to Texas after the death of my grandfather, that within a year I'd be in a seminary, and within 4 years I'd be the pastor at a congregation where they had a copy of that picture on the kid's Sunday School door.

I've learned since that night on the plane that Christ, the only "begotten of the Creator/ Father", assumed the flesh and became the guy whom we know as Jesus of Nazareth. I'm comfortable with that, but I do wonder: did Jesus know he was the Christ of God, and if so, when? I know when the Bible wants us to know, but I still wonder...

Such musings leave open the perennial question of why God became human at all? I don't read much religious journalism these days, because what passes as "theology" really isn't theology. It uses some theological words like "love," or "faith," or "hope," but to be theology--at some level and I don't really care how high or low you go--you have to talk about God.

For example, I often read and hear people say, "If you want to be a true Christian, you should act like Jesus did." That is not theology. It's got some Christian theological words like "true," "Christian," and "Jesus," but it doesn't tell you anything about God. For example, why does God want Christians? Why would God care if there are Christians at all in the world, much less "true" ones? And what about Jesus' and his actions are salutary to God? I mean, are you talking about being nice to people or are you talking about this?  It's tough to sign up people to be Christians, even true ones, if you're asking them to get up on a cross and die? The devil's in the details, as they say.

So when you see Jesus, whom do you see? These days, I see Jesus Christ all over the place. In the people of the little congregation I am at, and how they seek to see God in serving food and clothes to those in need. I see Jesus Christ in the young people who are looking for anything to help them make sense of a world that has gone bat-shit crazy in their eyes? I see Jesus Christ in my mom who just lost her husband. So where are you seeing Jesus Christ these days?

May your tables be full and your conversations be true.

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