Thursday, May 17, 2007

Oops 2 or is it Oops TOO?

In “Oops”, I make the point of Jesus’ disciples not fathoming that they were hanging out with God. It’s not hard to figure out why they didn’t understand Him this way. Jesus was fun. He wasn’t anything like what they experienced when they went to “temple”. Sure He did really neat stuff but they did really cool stuff too. It wasn’t like He was doing things that they hadn’t heard of in the Old Testament. Moses did some pretty far out stuff as well. Their biggest problem was that He was so normal and dare I say it, non-religious.

This is actually a new idea that is poking around in my brain. I hadn’t really considered His disciples not understanding His Godness. We’re so much better with the answer than they were. Is Jesus God? Of course. Why? The Bible tells me so. John 1:1 In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God.

The first time that I remember hearing about Jesus was when I was trying to memorize the disciples names at Sunday School when I was about 10 years old. I was presented with the idea that Jesus was God but all I really remember was trying to memorize Nathaniel or was it Bartameus? Telling me he was God was like telling me that Elvis Presley was a singer. That’s nice. But why are there two Judas’ in the list of disciples? Which one was the bad one?

Do we really get what the disciples didn’t? Wayne Jacobsen tells this story from his friend Dave Coleman. Dave is a hospice chaplain and has witnessed more death than average. One of his comments that burst another one of my religious bubbles was the idea of Christians dying much more peacefully than non-Christians. He said that by and large that just isn’t so.

This is one of those stories. A lady with cancer was admitted to the hospice. She was in her nineties and had been a Christian for most of her life. She knew she was dying with cancer and was in fear of what her fate was. It seems that back during World War 2 when her husband was off to war, she had found herself in dire financial straits, with 2 young children to look after. She failed to tithe because of needing to feed her children. She knew that her cancer was God’s judgment on her for having committed such a wicked act and now she was afraid of meeting Him. For over 60 years she had been dreading God, but had worked overtime in trying to gain back His favor. When the cancer hit, she knew she had missed out.

Is it possible to intellectually know that Jesus is God and yet be more like His disciples in their total disappointment at the crucifixion? Could in be that in our religious endeavors we are no more at home with Jesus as our personal friend than knowing Tiger Woods as our weekly golf buddy?

I can understand the disciples with their Oops; I’m saddened when I consider all of my Oops.

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