He’s Back!

Ten years ago, shortly after we had moved into our church offices at 1311 16th Avenue, South, someone gave me a bobble head Jesus. Despite the fact that He was a bit tacky, I fell in love with Him because, for me, He symbolized the truth that Jesus is not the unapproachable and distant Savior of my youth, but the accessible Lord of us all. Wherever we happen to be, He is more than willing to come to us on our turf.   I immediately displayed Him in a prominent location in our office reception area.  Soon folks who visited began to comment. On several occasions the comments led us into deeper discussions of the things of God.

A few years later Jesus was kidnapped. I have a prime suspect and made an inquiry through a third party, but Jesus did not come home. The more I thought about the kind of person it would take to steal Jesus, the more upset I became. I came to the conclusion that is was done for spite and frankly I had some thoughts that certainly were not in line with Jesus’ teachings about love and forgiveness. The years passed and the bobble head Jesus, for the most part, faded from my consciousness. That changed Christmas when I opened my favorite Christmas present. Jesus has come home! Oh, not the same bobble head, but a new and improved one. Actually, He is looking over my shoulder as I type and His message to me is the same as it has been for thousands of years, Don’t seek vengeance. Don’t bear a grudge; but love your neighbor as yourself, for I am Jehovah (Leviticus 19:18).

The homecoming of Jesus reminded me of the payoff for making a conscious decision several years ago, as best as I could, to live my life that way.  So I did not fall back to my self-defeating loathing of the kidnapper. On the contrary, the abduction and return of Jesus proved to me that the commandment is not only doable but the very foundation of a Christ-centered life. Love always trumps hate! It is not nearly as difficult as you may think. Don’t do it for them; do it for you and Jesus.

Something to think about


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