I had a dream when I was child that I will never forget. I was walking on lush, green grass when upon looking up there stretched a perfect, blue expanse of sky like I had never seen before. Then I saw a man walking towards me, I knew it was Jesus. At this point I got pretty excited, understandably! I started running as fast as I could to reach Him, and He started running towards me. He knelt down to me and said a simple “I love you very much” and then He hugged me. I don’t remember His face, only His eyes. They were dark and beautiful, telling of everything He is-Savior, healer, lover of our souls, funny, strong, man, God, King, the list goes on and on and on. When I looked in His eyes I felt stronger and taller but at the same time a complete vulnerability, that my heart was wide open. What surprises me about this, looking back years later, is that it was not kindness in Jesus’s eyes that I saw. Instead, I stared back at a fierce, passionate love that so far extends the kindness which we have been conditioned to expect from our white, blue eye, brown hair-with-a middle part Jesus. What a one dimensional view of His personality! I woke up stunned and incredibly loved, feeling an unexplainable peace and joy.
This world does not need any more of these scenarios depicting either a “white, middle-class, nice Jesus” or a “white, middle-class, unforgiving Jesus.” What is needed is the “wild terrifying, fascinating, dangerous, Middle-Eastern Jesus” (Michael Frost). Why would I expect a tame, predictable Savior, or one who is “safe?...Who said anything about safe? Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you.” (C.S. Lewis) I am tired of trying to be ‘safe’ in the way I do church and life for that matter. I want to be all in, to be a part of this awesome Body of Christ, to love the Church, to kill the institution, to dream. To love furiously, with a reckless abandon without a thought of self-preservation. To be about the Church, we must first be about Jesus and who He truly is, allowing Him in to compel us and change us so that we can further the Kingdom in awesome and radical ways.Jamie