Monday, September 14, 2009

Jesus is Altogether Different

He chose a barn. We would have chosen for him the women’s center at the nearest hospital.
He chose obscurity. We would have chosen notoriety.
He prepared for ministry by being tempted and hungry. We choose vacation.
He picks clueless, proud, misguided fishermen and a tax collector. We use résumés.
He tells us the way to save our life is to lose it. We upsize everything.
Jesus lets a whore wash his feet with her hair. We would have kicked her out and laughed at her hair.
Jesus tells stories so some cannot understand. We tell stories so they can.
Jesus rejoices that the wise don’t get it. We fire pastors for such things.
Jesus forgives a traitor. We would have laughed when Rush Limbaugh parodied him.
Jesus promises a sword. We promise peace and happiness.
Jesus celebrates mustard-seed faith. We celebrate actors and rock stars.
Jesus went to where he would be rejected. We run towards acceptance.
Jesus offends people with weird statements to the point of them leaving him. We soften and smooth out the rough edges.
Jesus teaches hard doctrines to simple people. We ask them to say the ‘sinner’s prayer.’
Jesus attracted those who needed him and his message of forgiveness of sin. We attract those most likely to watch Fireproof.
Jesus makes strong wine. We forbid it.
Jesus asks us to choose our souls over gaining the whole world. We dream of bigger houses and nicer cars.
Jesus’ default was grace. Ours is law.
Jesus is in sync with what God is doing. We ask for people to get in sync with us.
Jesus ridiculed the religious leaders of the day. We give them deference.
Jesus emptied himself of his glory. We buy Coach purses.
Jesus says we are blessed when we are persecuted. We think we need a lawyer.
Jesus prepares us for a cross. We shoot for the primrose path.
Jesus tells us to lay up treasures in heaven. We buy storage space.
Jesus is not impressed by every profession of faith. We make big announcements about every one.
Jesus heals as he moves toward his own suffering. We move away from suffering while moving toward our own health.
Jesus let his friend die so we could see God’s glory. We glorify God only when someone is healed.
Jesus says it is good for him to go away and for us to have the Spirit. We, pastors think our congregation cannot survive without us.
Jesus prays that we would see his glory. We grumble when everyone does not see our value.
Jesus made himself nothing. Pastors want to be called “Dr.”
Jesus goes to the cross. We get practical.
Jesus died to justify sinners. We are dying to justify our sin.

Jesus is altogether different.

Written by Matt Redmond - Associate Pastor, Metro East

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