Thursday, September 6, 2007

Perceptions and misperceptions of Jesus

When you think of Jesus, what sort of picture comes into your mind? How tall is he? If he is singing with you, does he have a bass voice, or is he a tenor? Here is a word picture of Jesus from Kristen Johnson Ingram which was published in Weavings, Volume XVIII, Number 5, Sept./Oct. 2003, (pages 12-13).

Who is this outsider, this scruffy wild man who insists that he, alone, has the truth about God? . . . His name is Jesus. The Christ. The Son of God. His dangerous philosophy says to turn the other cheek, to pray for our enemies, to forgive seventy times seven, to give to unworthy beggars, to give it all away and follow him. . . . Because the real Jesus is such a terror, we make up a false messiah and welcome him into our lives instead. We make him into Gentle Jesus, Meek and Mild; . . .

Of course, the real Jesus is gentle and kind and a healer, but he's also the one who says that self-righteous believers are broods of snakes. He turns tables over in the Temple . . . We profess to like Jesus, and to call him a great teacher and psychologist. Great psychologist? If we take him seriously, if we welcome him into our lives, we'll find him as abrasive as garnet sandpaper. Perhaps our sense and sensibility have become dulled by our assumed familiarity with his words.

So, how do you view Jesus? What is your perception of him?

In peace,

The Rev. Linda McCloud
Founding Pastor
The Episcopal Church of Our Savior at Honey Creek

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