Who doesn’t love Jesus, right? He’s kind, he’s powerful, he stands up to injustice, and would do anything for you. But do you trust him?
I recently listened to another preacher who pointed out that it’s easy to say we love Jesus. But there’s a difference between that and trust. If you trust your doctor you’ll follow his advice. If you trust your mechanic you’ll maintain your car according their instructions. Do we actually trust Jesus?
- Do we trust him when he gives instructions on how to forgive?
- Do we trust him when he gives guidelines on how to serve?
- Do we trust him when he flat out tells us to love our enemies?
- Do we trust him when he says that real life can’t be found without taking up our cross daily (i.e. dying to the self-directed life)
- Do we trust him when he upholds a counter-cultural, sexual ethic?
- Do we trust him when he calls us to live with radical generosity?
- Do we trust him when he challenges our beliefs about people who are different than us?
- Do we trust him when he says things like “turn the other cheek” and “go the extra mile”?
- Do we trust him when he demands that we surrender our entire life to him?
Do we trust that his teaching is really, truly the best way to live? Or do we trust our own intuition, or our own appetites, or our own traditions, or our own tribe. To trust him means to trust that he is speaking the truth, and that he desires what is best for us. Do we really trust him, or do we just content ourselves with “loving him”? Because if that’s the case, we may not be loving the real Jesus. The real Jesus is after all the one who said,
It appears that Jesus equated loving him with trusting him. Do you trust him? Or do you merely “love” the parts of him that fit your lifestyle. In which case, it might be time to ask, “who’s really the god in my life?”
In the world of Facebook, you can “like” someone’s picture, update, status, or whatever. The more people who click on your “like” button, the better you feel about yourself. But what if we all had a literal “like” button?
What if you could just randomly walk through the room and hit people’s “like” button? Think of what a Seneca Creek Sunday worship gathering may look like. Hundreds of people walk in with the cares of the world on their shoulders. They walk in knowing they’ve blown it this week. They walk in wondering if the horrible things others have said about them are really true. And then…they walk out with the full awareness that they are “liked” by those who know them…and even those who don’t! They walk out encouraged! I mean, seriously, who DOESN’T like to be liked?
What’s interesting is that Jesus’ instructions to his followers were to “love one another.” And as Jean Vanier put it, “love reveals the beauty of another person to themselves.” Do you remember the last time someone revealed something beautiful about you TO you? I’m guessing that you remember it very well indeed. You’ll probably never forget it, right?
If you think that gathering on Sunday is just about listening to me preach, or rockin’ with the music, you’ve missed a big part. If you slide in after we start, and slip out before we finish, you’ve been robbed! Part of the value of gathering together is to “reveal the beauty of others” to themselves. It sounds like, “You know what I really appreciate about you…” Our gatherings are about conversations that result in hitting someone’s “like” button. That means yours. And that means the other person’s.
Maybe the writer of Hebrews was thinking about Facebook when he wrote,
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Heb. 10:24
So this week, when you step into the facility at 13 Firstfield, see how many “like” buttons you can press before you leave. And see if you don’t end up encouraged and ready to take on the week!
P.S. There’s a “like” button at the bottom of this post…in case you were wondering. 🙂