Good morning, Mini-Women! Get your yawns out and your eyes rubbed, because we've got stuff to talk about! You have been so great about posting comments while I was catching up on stuff. I hope your images of Jesus made each other consider him in new ways, as they did me. I don't know about you, but every time I read one, I stopped and tried to picture it. LEXi's "loving blue eyes." SARAH'S "calm and pure feeling." Another SARAH's Jesus who looks just like all of us. LAURA'S "gentle face." ABBIE's "strong callused hands that could heal anyone." SPROSE's "Always with his arms open to give you a big hug." STEPHANIE'S wish that he would walk down her driveway! BETH'S "a sweet kind of smile." TALIA's "gentle but firm way" (and, for some reason, a long nose!) KATE's "he looked average, like the guy who's normal and doesn't look like he's got it all and nobody's like 'Whoa he's so handsome' or 'WOW, look at that dude's MUSCLES! He's rockin' that six pack!'" (Although LILY sees him as "very fit.") SNAPPY's "Kind of unusual." JESUS FREAK's "light brown skin", sort of like her own. ANDI's "loving blue eyes." ELIZA's "He is smiling, and has children sitting with him." KATELYN's "He's so happy a smile doesn't keep it in laughter."
Interesting. Our details are different, but the truth within them is the same. No matter what color hair or skin or sandals we picture, we all captured the love, the healing, the patience, the strength, the wisdom. Because we're people, we fill in our own specifics -- and as long as we don't change who Jesus really is, that's perfectly okay.
When it comes to the visual details, we have to do a lot of that "filling in" when we read the Bible. People hve been doing that for centuries. As ASHLEY, LILLY, and SNAPPY discovered, there's no mention that Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem on a donkey, or that the Wise Men had camels with them, or even that Jesus himself was a carpenter (only his dad)! Those are just fun things we've woven in to complete the picture in our minds. They don't hurt anything, and what would our Christmas pageants be without donkeys and camels? When Jesus and His story become real to us, we are just naturally going to get a full picture in our minds.
The trouble comes in when people fill in things that are the opposite of what Jesus is really about. Like when someone says Jesus doesn't like rich people. Jesus never said that! He just said it was harder for rich people to humble themselves before God than it was for poorer people, who were used to humbling themselves. Or when people say Jesus didn't like the Jews. Um -- Jesus WAS a Jew. He loved his people and wanted to save them! When we make up stuff about Jesus, that affects the way we, as Christians, treat people. So before we start talking about how we're going to do some things differently (dealing with siblings, talking to parents,putting up with absurd little creep boys,) we need to make sure that we have a clear INSIDE picture of the Guide we're going to follow.
So -- if you want to post a comment today, see if you can do this:
* Think of one thing you've heard about Jesus, especially from other Christians, that doesn't quite fit what you know about him, or that makes you wonder, "Is that REALLY the way it is?"
* If someone said to you, "No, this is how you HAVE to think of Jesus", would that change how you acted or felt?
For example, I've heard some Christians say that Jesus thought men were superior to women and that's why he only had guys as disciples. If I believed that (and, uh, I DON'T!), I wouldn't feel as confident in His love and I wouldn't be able to do the work I do for mini-women and teen women and grown-up women. What would be the point, right? You sure wouldn't be reading this blog right now!
As you share your comments, remember only to post what's going on with YOU this topic. If someone posts that they don't believe what some poeple say about Jesus and you DO believe that, please don't post an "Oh-- my-- goodness -- I can't believe you said that!" comment. The whole point is to get right down to the core of who our Jesus is, so that his guidance will be clear to all of us in the same way as we move forward. Make sense? There are no WRONG comments, as long as we are loving and respectful as we make them. Can't wait to read!