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Thursday, June 4, 2009

real power

Got a question for the guys... 

I am a white man. I stand about 5 foot 7, 5 foot 8. I weigh around 150, 160 pounds.  If you and I got into a fight, into a fist fight, who would win?  I mean, seriously, if you and I threw down who would be the victor?  I don't know Karate... never actually been in a real fight, but I'm pretty quick.  

Don't worry about pride or whatever, just think about it honestly... could you take me? 

In your assessment, you might have underestimated my power or overestimated it. Whether or not you think you would win, it's not going to bother me... seriously. 

But, I will tell you something that does bother me. 

It bothers me to no end when we underestimate the power of Jesus.  I was recently looking for a nice framed painting of the living Christ.  It was very irritating, because I couldn't find one painting that didn't portray Christ as a weenie.  You know what I'm talking about, the small, thin frame, the sagging eyes, the long blonde hair.  What is this?  What is it about our perspective that has to portray the Word Made Flesh in this way.  I mean, I understand that some artist want to highlight his compassionate side, and that's respectable, but come on!  He looks more like Fabio's little brother than anything else.  Would it be too much to ask for painting of a normal looking, hard working, middle eastern man?  As a side note, my favorite portrayal of Jesus is in the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC.  He still has blonde hair and blue eyes, but his look is intimidating and his arms are ripped. 

There, now that I am done ranting about art.  I'd like to look at the culture that breathes that type of false typology.  We underestimate God's power. Period.  Take a look at this passage:

"Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one; I died, and behold I am alive for evermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades." Revelation 1:17-18

Does that sound like a weenie God?  Sounds like a champion to me... a victor... a courageous warrior... who has conquered His enemy...

The problem is, I'm not sure I want a Big Dangerous God.  I don't want a God that can heal my blindness with some spit and mud. I don't want a God that confronts my sin and self righteousness. I don't want a God that makes demons flee, that calms the seas with His voice.  The truth is I feel more comfortable with the little soft spoken God, because I don't have to change. I can just put Him in the little box and make Him shut up.  I am more powerful than He. 

When it comes to the world and how we as Christians should be interacting with it.  I think I can get caught up in this underestimation.  We can begin to create BIG new ideas to counter injustice and bring a culture of life and peace, without ever seeking the one with the real POWER.  Let us never forget that it is 'Christ in us', that brings justice.  He is the one that loves unconditionally through us.  It is him that is hospitable to the stranger.  It is by His power that we feed and clothe.  This is the life of Sacramental life of power. 

You wanna talk about an unfair fight.  Next time we are confronted with the demons of injustice and violence, size that demon up with the creator of the universe, the all-powerful, mighty one, who suffered, died and rose to conquer death, and watch Jesus kick it's #$@! 

1 comment:

Matthew said...

Nice post. While it is good for us to remember the power and authority of God (especially over evil), I also feel that there is a risk in portraying Jesus as a bad ass. Namely, that we might start to think that it is this image that we ought to strive for ourselves. Christ did not appease or give in to those in power in his day. He unwaveringly proclaimed the truth, despite the costs. But he was also quick to love others (even his enemies) in humble acts of service and he instructed us to do the same.

“Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus,
Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.”
-Philippians 2:5-8