The World Needs More Jesus

 

While writing a sermon in 2016, I realized "the world needs more Jesus":
more love.

Where love is
kindness, compassion, mercy,
justice, fairness, equity,
acceptance, tolerance, 
inclusivity, hospitality and welcome. 

Where love is
speaking out
using your voice
your skills and talents
to help others 
no matter what
conflict or mockery 
or pushback
you may encounter.

One of my goals with this blog is to offer up examples of Jesus at work in the world,
in our 21st century world
so I will start today with What Jesus Said. 
It's a short essay by editor and author Rona Maynard of Toronto
published in the Jan/Feb issue of Broadview magazine (www.broadview.org).

In the piece, Rona writes about being on a bus when a man behind her
starts "preaching holy war in Jesus' name". 
Like everyone else on the bus, she is instantly fearful and uncomfortable,
but unlike everyone else on the bus, she is willing to confront the man. 

Of course, he throws his right to free speech at him
and she hits it right back to him.
Then he claims that Jesus said, "Mind your own business".
Maybe he did but Jesus certainly didn't mean it the way this man did!
And Rona batted that shit back saying, "No, Jesus said love one another."

She was so quick-witted! I admire that because my brain freezes up. 
Just like the other people on the bus. 

I love this piece
but only in part because it's an example of Jesus alive and at work in the world.
The other part is that it hits squarely on the one thing I want to be able to to
when I need to do it:
Speak up. Speak out.
Confront. Defend. 
Stand up to. 

But I also want to be someone who sees someone do that
and joins in. 
Rona mentions this, how it would have made a different if someone had supported her
but no one did. 
And how easy would it have been to say,
"She's right! Jesus said love your neighbours AND your enemies." 

I want to be able to be someone who stands up and speaks out,
who stands together and supports,
who is brave and courageous and determined 
to be the voice in the wilderness. 

To remember that Jesus also said, "Take heart, it's me! Don't be afraid." 



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