Tuesday, July 3, 2007

5 Things I Dig About Jesus

Tagged by Bishop Laura!

Now. You've been tagged to play this meme. It's from John Smulo's blog and it goes like this:

1. Those tagged will share 5 Things They Dig About Jesus.
2. Those tagged will tag 5 people.
3. Those tagged will leave a link to their meme in the comments section of this post so everyone can keep track of what's being posted.

See, and this'll be fun, cos I'm still getting to know Jesus and I'm not sure I'll be able to come up with five, but here goes...

1) He had bad days, too. See Luke 9:51-62 for reference, but I'll give you the short-short version: He'd set his face to Jerusalem. He didn't want to, he was tired and scared and determined to do it anyway, and here comes a whole raft of distractions on top of it all: a village of Samaritans who wouldn't receive Him because he's turned his face to Jerusalem, a pair of would-be disciples who had 'just one thing' to do before they'd follow Him, and another to whom He complained that He had nowhere to lay his head.

I've had that day. We all have. Okay, not that day, but one like it, when there's a lot to do and you don't want to but you have to do it anyway, and people just keep showing up and bothering you, when all you want is to go and get it done and over with. And we're all grumpy and distracted and say dumb stuff.

And as the priest at my local church pointed out during this week's sermon, Jesus had bad days and was grumpy and distracted and said dumb stuff. But at the same time Jesus was without sin. So just having a bad day? Isn't a sin.

Good to know. I still try to avoid them, but I ain't perfect. I've spent a lot of time recently trying not to snap at both Tim and Ray and I'm sure I'm not the only one. Mostly I've succeeded, but only mostly. Thus doth stress make assholes of us all.

We're all moving to Fort Collins, but we're not all moving in together. It's too soon, and there'd quite simply be death. At the same time, though, I've realized that a lot of the reason Ray, especially, has been annoying me lately isn't any change in Ray -- it's my own stress. Which isn't his fault. And so I try to deal with it, but if I slip, well, Jesus had His bad days too.

2) He asks us to do the hard things. Follow Him; let the dead bury the dead. Take nothing for the journey when you proclaim His kingdom, not walking stick nor food nor even a spare shirt. For he who seeks to preserve his life will lose it, while he who loses his life will save it.

But for all he asks us to do, he has already given more, done more, himself, than we could possibly do. He came down and lived among us, as one of us, suffered not only death on the cross but all the annoyances and hardships of daily life. I wonder, sometimes, which was harder. Death on the cross takes several hours and, yeah, is pretty horrendous. But sunburn, sore feet, hunger, achy muscles from sleeping on the road instead of in a bed...those go on and on.

It's hard to make the big decision to follow Jesus, hard to take up our own cross. It's harder, I think, though, once the decision is made -- to stick with it, day by day, through all the hardships, annoyances, distractions of daily life. When the baby's crying and the checkbook won't balance, the car's been kinda iffy and not only do you have to carpool to work with that guy with the funny breath but you might also not get to take that vacation you've been waiting for -- it's hard to remember Jesus in all that.

What with one thing and another I've been distracted a lot. The tag from Mother Laura was well-timed; it's making me think about Jesus again, something I've had trouble taking the time to do. I lose track of the bigger picture in all the details. Thank you for the reminder, my dear.

The readings for Sunday were also a powerful reminder. Follow me, they all say; Elijah to Elisha in Kings, Paul to the Galatians, and Jesus to fellow travellers who all, it seems, had something more important to do. That, and the sermon, and the closing hymn -- Amazing Grace, one of my favourites -- by the end of Mass I felt it was time, and pulled Father Don apart to tell him I felt a call to ... something. I didn't mention ordination and neither did he, which I'm okay with. He suggested a few people in the congregation as potential spiritual directors, which I'm considering. He also suggested Stephen Ministries, which I need to find out more about. It's a good beginning step here.

3) He welcomes everyone, feeds everyone. I'm not only talking about the Last Supper when He fed everyone, including the man He knew would betray Him; I'm also talking about the man who ate with Pharisees, tax collectors, prostitutes; who fed the multitudes with fishes and loaves. Nobody checked cards at the altar rail, then. Nobody turned away those wearing the 'wrong thing'.

And while it's easy for me and those I hang out with to say that the people like us are the ones who shouldn't be turned away -- queer folks, women priests, people who just don't quite fit in with the status quo -- it's important for us to remember that we must also welcome those who oppose us. Jesus ate with Pharisees as well as prostitutes, after all.

The Eucharist this Sunday was quite as overwhelming as it was a few weeks ago. Along with the readings, sermon, and songs, it was part of what informed my decision to talk to Father Don. I still don't know what it means and I'm trying not to think of myself as somehow special because it keeps happening. In the meantime, I'm enjoying it.

And this is where I run out of brain and have to think of two more things.

4) He healed people. He healed people. This blows me away, more so, in some ways, than raising people from the dead, probably because I have always longed to be able to heal. I try, in my small ways -- making relaxing bath salts for my friends, teas, foul-tasting brews (sorry Tim!), a salve for scrapes and small cuts that actually seems to work -- but I can't compare with Him. And I know I'd burn myself out if I could, but He didn't (even though at times it made him feel grumpy and overwhelmed; see #1 above).

5) I totally have run out of brain, but Jesus loves me anyway.


Mrs. M said...

THANKS BE TO GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!! regarding a bad day not being the same as sin.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

Mother Laura said...

You're very welcome, sweet Kate--and thank you for sharing. Your digs were very powerful.

Love and prayers for the exciting developments in ministry, prayer, and with your beloveds.


Kate said...

Innit just, Mrs. M? What a weight off our backs! Alleluia!