Rereading the below post this morning I realise something is missing. It’s all true enough, but the best, most brilliant thing of all that I failed to mention is…
You guessed it, or maybe you didn’t. It’s Jesus.
As we know Jesus is the answer to give when all else fails. The answer every kid in church knows to give, to get the sweetie the nice person at the front is throwing them if they respond to their questions. The problem is the familiarity of the answer. In my sociology degree our first lecture taught us to defamiliarise the familiar. At first I thought that was a bit foolish, take really familiar things and make them sound complicated in sociological language? How weird. But there is beauty in doing this well. Not just making simple concepts confusing, but taking the old and familair and looking at them from a different angle, defamiliarising so we see new things. We need to do this in relationships with each other, shake up our friendships, allow each other to be different and have changed. We need to do this with the Father, Son and Spirit.
I’m thinking that it’s important that we don’t just give the off the cuff answers but explore the wide area between A and B, between the question and the answer. For example we might think I’m in a relationship with God, how has that happened? Well it’s because Jesus died on a Cross taking the punishment I deserve, He rose again to new life so I can too. That’s a big old statement and just saying that isn’t enough. There are a million questions that arise from it. What does relationship mean? Which God? Who is Jesus? How on earth does dying help? What punishment? Why punishment? Rose again? Too often we take the answers of these questions for granted and our expression of Christianity becomes small. The familar stuff needs to be up for exploration, so it remains fresh in our lives and affects who we are.
So, back to Jesus. All the stuff below is because of Him and the wideranging beautiful nature of his life, death and new life down here on earth. If I had time I’d talk about him a bit more. But I have to go and imitate him, today that involves eating a BBQ with my friends. Presumably the one at the end of John was sweeter tasting but it’s good to know my Maker walking on earth liked BBQ’s as well.