[Intramuralist Note: Beginning the week of April 1st, new posts will appear on Sundays and Wednesdays. We want you to be able to depend on what day posts will appear. So thank you. We so appreciate you joining in the conversation!]
For Christians across the globe, it’s one of the holiest, most meaningful days of the year. It’s one of the few days, the stores close, families gather, and we reflect upon what’s most important.
The focus is Jesus — a man recognized by most all major religions as truly walking this planet some 2,000 years ago… the only central leader of a faith whose body isn’t dead, decaying in a tomb somewhere… and how all but one of his inner circle is said to have died a martyr’s dead; people don’t willingly die for something they believe to be untrue.
Jesus is a person.
Jesus is not a doctrine or a theology. He is a person.
And that’s what makes him different.
A Christian’s faith is not in any well-defined dogma — in some magic “fix-it” or “fix-me” formula. Our faith is instead in a person. Jesus asks us to look at him, who he is, and become more like him.
I look at the extent of his character, all those traits that make him stand out more than any of the rest of us… he is kind, compassionate, patient, prayerful, loving, forgiving, gentle, humble, selfless, strong, servant-hearted, self-controlled, wise, and accepting. He accepts people where they are at. It’s not that he doesn’t care how we live, but he doesn’t get hung up on where we’re at. He accepts us where we are, as we are, and encourages each of us to grow.
But here’s the thing…
As one who desires to love Jesus back, I am not all of the above. I am not always kind, compassionate, servant-hearted and certainly not accepting. Sometimes I’m unloving. Sometimes I’m arrogant. Sometimes, too, in fact, I’m a total, broken mess.
All that brokenness makes me an imperfect reflection of who Jesus really is.
Thank God that we each have opportunity to be the recipient of his amazing, unending, extravagant grace. As a mess, I need that. Daily.
And I think that’s part of the problem in the world today; we make assumptions about each other and the imperfect messes that we each are.
For those who are believers, we sometimes forget that we are imperfect. We sometimes allow ourselves to think we are somehow different than those around us — like any of us need a savior less than another. Sometimes we get puffed up or uncaring or treat others in a way that can be so harsh and seemingly judgmental.
For those who are skeptics, we sometimes forget that Christians are not Christ. We sometimes allow ourselves to base our faith on people other than Jesus — like if his followers are like that, “no way do I want to be.” Sometimes we get puffed up or critical or treat believers in a way that can be so harsh and seemingly judgmental.
The reality is that we — me —we are imperfect reflections of Jesus.
In my desire to love Jesus back for who he is and all he has done — walking this planet, exemplifying a wisdom and perfection that I humanly cannot — I deeply wish for each of us is to be more kind, compassionate, patient, prayerful, loving, forgiving, gentle, humble, selfless, strong, servant-hearted, self-controlled, wise, and accepting.
Such a pursuit is life-changing.
Such is what I’m so thankful for at Easter.
Blessings, friends… always… to all…