Not that long ago I had a man sit in my living room and tell me that there must be more to talk about in Church than Jesus! (Yes, that happened). But let’s ask the question: Apart from the fact that we are commanded to set our eyes (and by implication our affections) on the Pioneer and Perfecter of our Faith, why Jesus?
Why should we always be thinking about him. It’s a big world out there, full of big issues, and big opinions. Why focus on Jesus?
Two verses that I have been meditating on come to mind and fill me with real joy when they do. Here they are;
In him was life, and the life was the light of mankind. And the light shines on in the darkness, but the darkness has not mastered it. (John 1:4-5)
In him was and is life, vitality, and animation. His life is vigorous, active, and full to the brim. He is creative and abundant. And that life of his is in us, and that life is now ours! When we allow other influences or powers to capture our attention we diminish our own awareness of what exactly is in us. We lose the sense that anything is possible!
His life in us is a real thing. It is him, his spirit, who is like a mighty geyser. “Geysir” is an Icelandic word that describes a hot spring that now and again shoots great sprays of water and steam into the air. The word literally means “gusher.”
In the Gospel of John, chapter four, Jesus speaks of the Holy Spirit, his own spirit, and explains that he IS a “gusher,” not just like one! This is literal, not allegorical. He is ready at any moment to rush up within us, carrying that eternal God-life of Jesus. Up through us and then out to the world around. If we are not focused there, on that giver of life, we can miss the opportunity for a potent eruption of fantastic and furious love.
This is hugely important because that eruption of Jesus within us brings light, clarity, sometimes miraculous understanding, excitement, and great peace.
I had two Witnesses from a certain sect appear at my door one afternoon. As I opened the door I was regaled by a mother and son duo who began to try and convince me of their views.
Instead of becoming angry or frustrated I was suddenly filled with a totally unexpected love for these two people. In my excitement I made the mistake of telling them so (much to the mother’s alarm). I delighted in the Son of God before them and declared his delight in them, even though I felt they were deceived.
When I reached out and told them that I just wished to give them both a hug… Woman and son literally grabbed each other and ran up and out of my driveway. I never saw them again. (Yeah, that happened too.) I know, I probably scared them both to death. I meant them no harm, but Jesus had rushed up within me to speak his care to them, and it was powerful.
One more consequence of the rushing-up-Spirit-of-Christ is that the light that comes from his life pouring out on us keeps on devastating the darkness, and the darkness has not and cannot master it!
It’s as we set our affections on Jesus that we understand how to respond to deceived strangers, dark realities, and the big issues of this world. It is also how we overcome the big liar, who seeks to hover over his death filled caricature of ‘the real thing’. And it’s how, as Jesus reaches out of us, anything can happen!
Why Jesus? Because he is our life and light within us, and he is always ready to explode with power.
Lord capture our attention and light up our lives today as we catch a fresh glimpse of you. Keep our eyes upon you as you erupt with joy within us to both heal and to spill out in power to others. Amen.