Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Fellowship of Saints and Sinners


“I Want Jesus!”

Does it get any more kitsch than this?

“I want Jesus!,” my two-and-a-half-year-old daughter exclaimed the other day, as she grasped for the ceramic baby Jesus in the nativity scene on our kitchen table. These days when advertisers prostitute themselves for our dollars and every manner of holiday festivity competes for our time, my daughter’s un-self-conscious exclamation reminds me of what I really want, too, when I am obliged to stand still and face my inner neediness.

A friend has reminded me of theologian Stanley Hauerwas’ words: “It’s all about Jesus and the rest is bull shit.”  Hauerwas’ sentiments, I suspect, could not ring more true than around this time of year when Christians celebrate the birth of a Savior in a manger, because there was no place for Him at the inn.  We don’t have to worship God in an actual feeding trow at the nearest farm (or in our case, the local petting zoo) to appreciate the full significance of the imagery:  that we (or at least most of us, I suspect) relinquish only the rough-shod, unkempt, least-valued margins of our existence to One who has come into the world to indwell all of us and our world with His Holy Spirit.  Like a Lover who wants all of us but gets only a small part of us because our lives are too crowded and our hearts too restless, God waits for us to return to Him.

A friend recently lamented her forgetfulness of God of late- that she over the years had grown distant in a relationship that she knew was important.  I told her what my spiritual director once told me not long ago when I voiced a similar concern.  She said that my thirst for God would tell me when “to drink.”  I have found this to be true.

Somewhere, in the midst of the endless commercial bustle and incessant demands on our time, I suspect that there is a voice in every one of us which exclaims, “I want Jesus!”  Or, “God, where are you?”  Or, “God, will you show up?  I need you.”  Or, “God, is this holiday bullshit all there is? Because I want more.”

And the One who put that thirst there will lead us to water.

Don’t miss the next in our series, “Weird Jesus Sayings”:  “If anyone speaks a word against the son of man, it will be forgiven.  But if anyone speaks a word against the Holy Spirit, it won’t be forgiven, either in the present age or in the age to come” (Matthew 12:32).

 

 



Previous Posts

Mental Health Break—Sprawl II
My favorite band these days is Arcade Fire, and I've featured the Canadian indie rock group before at this intersection between God and life. The lead singer studied Kirkegaard in college and their songs, like this one, are often subtle but brilliant critiques of the least aesthetically pleasing thi

posted 12:58:15pm Dec. 18, 2014 | read full post »

I Can't Breathe and the Widow's Cry—A Guest Post
Fellow saint and sinner Saskia de Vries is a neuroscientist in Seattle, Washington and has posted before at this intersection between God and life. She, like so many of us, is grappling with the tragedies of Eric Garner and Michael Brown and the larger systemic problem they seem to reveal—namely,

posted 2:10:09pm Dec. 11, 2014 | read full post »

Advent and Emptiness, Via Louis CK and the Prophet Isaiah
I've been making my way through the book of Isaiah. This morning's reading was from chapter 6, where the prophet Isaiah receives his call to go to the people of Israel and proclaim God's judgment of a people who have wandered away from God's purposes for them. Isaiah asks how long God's people will

posted 11:45:39am Dec. 09, 2014 | read full post »

Advent Resurrection
It may seem strange to pair Advent with resurrection. Usually resurrection comes more naturally at Easter. But at heart the labor pangs of all creation giving birth to the Christ child are a longing for a new start. Advent is a longing to be born again. Neuroscience now teaches that every minu

posted 2:47:38pm Dec. 04, 2014 | read full post »

Birthday Cred—Ecclesiastes Via David Foster Wallace
Today I'm still (barely) on the left side of 40, and bea

posted 11:01:03am Dec. 01, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.