The Adventure

Hello again! Admittedly, I am a bit delayed on posting this week. Important escapades to pumpkin patchesImage-1 (1) and learning how to walk without crutches {yay!} and throwing a dinner party for old friends trumped the writing about the big adventure and had me doing it instead.  Yes, in the last four days, the smell of little boys showered with freshly fallen leaves, the familiar tones in the voices of old friends, announcements of joyfully unexpected babies and surprise engagements and the launching of a bible study for young women hungry for community and truth have made me circle back again and again to acknowledge in the stuff of life the God of creation, who made us for relationship and surprise and connection and hope and something so much more…

So I left you last time with this idea that we each load our “God cup” differently.  We each hold varying definitions and understandings of God that determine if and how we worship him, how we understand ourselves and our story and our purpose, and how we fit into this crazy broken world.

We talked about how scripture details that Jesus is the visible representation of the invisible God. He is “God in a bod.” God put on flesh and move into the neighborhood. When we want to see what God is like, who God is, how he might respond to us, pursue us, interact with us, we need to look no further than Jesus.

So what is Jesus like?

For years, I have been exploring and reading and talking and asking and watching to get to know this man. And He has won my whole heart. The more I learn about him, the more I realize there is to know. An endless adventure, this guy.

He is SURPRISING. He is mysterious, he is a bit confusing, he is unpredictable in some ways.  He is HUMAN. He has emotions and a will and intellect and he is not free from temptation or making honest mistakes. I mean, he probably hit his thumb with a hammer. {“Oh, me!?”} He walked and pooped and slept and got hungry. He laughed and danced and cried. He chatted and joked. He was limited on earth by his body, by time and space.

Scripture says that he took on flesh and was like us in every way.

And yet, he is GOD

“He put on flesh and he moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son.” John 1:14

His actions and words reveal a heart altogether different from a mere man who might wrestle with selfish motivations or insecurity or fear or desire for power. While he was tempted and has deep compassion and empathy for US, he never gave in to sin. In other words, He never deviated from being the radiance of God’s heart, His self-giving, others-centered, radically crazy gracious, merciful, redeeming, just, and perfect love. His actions revealed a man so secure in his identity that he could easily hang out with outcasts, diseased, prostitutes and thieves. His words revealed a man full of grace and acceptance for those willing to admit they didn’t have it all together. And yet his words were firm and harsh toward those who pretended that they did. His judgement, that was righteous, came only against those who determined to judge others.

His heart poured out love and wisdom and when he did miracles, like turning a little boys lunchable into a feast for thousands, or water skiing with no boat, when he reattached a man’s ear to his head or raised a man from the dead, these were the moments that it was as if a veil was opened and we saw a glimpse of the power of God… Power that was not ever used to destroy or coerce or manipulate or force or condemn, but power to love and heal and restore and bring unity.

This Jesus is the one who John says, existed before time began.  Who, when he dove out of heaven into the womb of a woman named Mary, had you on his heart. And who, when he died, had your wounds on his heart. And when after 3 days, blood began pumping back through his veins because the spirit of God is more powerful than death, he had your new life, your healing on his heart. And when he rose to heaven and sent his spirit as a gift to live inside you, a helper to speak to you and pray for you and act as a direct line to the heart of God, he had your life and your future on his heart. And he now, in this very moment has you on his heart. You eternally matter to him.

This is Jesus.

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