Friday, June 14, 2013

Unbidden and Unwanted?

"The first person to write about him (Jesus) -- who would become known as Paul -- said that Jesus appeared to him unbidden and unwanted. And he had a strange way of continuing to show up where he was not always sought or even welcome." John Ortberg

A few years ago I was attending a meeting of the Board of Directors of our local Walk to Emmaus Community. We were discussing whether to loan out part of our equipment to an unrelated entity that needed it. We went back and forth, looking at pros and cons. Finally, one of the pastors in the room, brought up the idea of ministry and serving. I said, "Oh, alright, if you're going to bring Jesus into it." I was kidding, but there was a grain of truth in what I said. We, as a Board, had placed Jesus off to the side so that we could look at the issue outside of Jesus' perspective.

Do we do that? Do we move Jesus out of the way sometimes? Does Jesus enter into our lives unbidden and unwanted?

In some ways that is disturbing. We want to remain in control -- we want to say when Jesus walks into a situation, and when he doesn't. Jesus doesn't work that way, though. He is always there. We can choose to try to ignore him, but since we are the church, and dependent on each other, someone will notice him, and bring our attention back to him. We don't always want that, but Jesus continues to show up.

On the other hand, it is comforting. When I forget to look for him, when I close my eyes to God-possibilities, Jesus can show up anyway. I'm glad his presence isn't dependent on my permission. I need him to show up even when I don't ask.

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