I frequently charge my congregation to be Jesus People in our world. Being Jesus People is not easy. It is my challenge to them – and myself – to do what Jesus would do if he were here, now, in this corner of the world.
Being a Jesus person includes keeping our eyes, ears and hearts open to all whom we meet as we go the grocery store, or as we walk through a neighborhood or as we talk to a sales person on the phone [this last is particularly difficult, as you know :-)]. Being a Jesus person forces us to see God in everything and it forces us to not allow hurt or poverty or want go unnoticed. It means that we feed the hungry whatever food they need for their journeys. It means that we listen even when we don’t want to hear the sadness being voiced. It also means that we talk less about ourselves and more about others as we go through our day. And, it means seeing God in ourselves. Jesus did all of this – more – as he proclaimed the gospel of God. Even when he was tired, he put others first. When he got short-tempered, he remembered to care for others. When he was in the company of his disciples and they did not live up to his expectations, he understood and went on with his mission of proclaiming God through his actions. Even alone, we are told that he kept God in the forefront.
Proclaiming myself a Jesus person seems counter to my liberal Christian stance. For my actions, being a Jesus person means not allowing suffering stand, not letting laws meant for the Ancients rule our contemporary life. It also means going quietly – hoping that those I meet will see that I don’t hammer them over the head with God and judgment – rather, what I do is a testimony to what I believe. I fail too frequently often leaving a person wishing I had said or done something else. We all have those moments. The good news is that being a Jesus person offers me forgiveness for what I failed to do or for things I did and gives me an opportunity to try again.
Dear Readers, I challenge you to be Jesus People in your corner of the world. You, like I, won’t get it right every time, but mostly, your actions and words will say that you are not only Jesus People, but God People, spreading the reign of God with a velvet hammer.