You know how these things go — someone throws out an idea, we love it or we hate it or we vibe off of it and it morphs to something really fantastic. This is what was occurring.
Time had passed and finally someone came up with the title of the service, “The Face of Freedom“. I immediately loved it. It was a play on the holiday, a play on words. You and I both know what freedom looks like. But to so many, on a holiday where we celebrate our independence, the true face of freedom is not recognized. They see soldiers and fireworks. We see grace and Jesus.
We began discussing stage designs and one of the ideas was to have a giant picture of Jesus on the stage.
Just one problem. What does Jesus look like? What did his face look like?
We couldn’t just hop on Instagram or Timehop to view selfies he’d taken with his peeps, the disciples. There were no Facebook photo albums or #tbt posts that could help us visualize it.
The thought occurred to me: I know exactly what Jesus looks like — and it’s pretty ugly.
I’ve been watching the state of our world, our nation, our community…the state of me. I’ve watched how we’re becoming increasingly distracted by our inward focus and our dependence on self-gratification and the need to be “successful”. Our consumerism plague our minds, our actions, our wallet.
We’re fighting with each other over things that
seem/are trivial – things that have no eternal value.
Speaking of value, we keep taking it away from each other. We devalue what God has placed in each person. We allow pride to drive us to seeking our own way while trampling on our brothers. We’ve forgotten to feed the hungry and clothe the naked.
We slap the hand that reaches out to us for help, and we go about our way proclaiming we are on a mission for God — in His name.
The cliché phrase that comes to mind is, “We are to be the hands and feet of Jesus”. If this is true, then the body, the face of Jesus, that we are portraying makes him look pretty ugly right now.
What we are educating the world on the subject of Jesus is that we value all of the things I listed earlier as more valuable than their soul.
The way we are portraying Christ with all of our infighting and doctrinal wars makes Jesus less attractive. When we choose to create division and lines on race or political parties we begin to step outside of the true nature of Jesus. When did “I” become more important than “He”?
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45
What would happen if we truly lived out this verse?
Our living rooms and our small groups and our churches and our local Starbucks locations could become places of refuge, places of relief, places of encouragement.
What would happen if we began to serve others, love others, consider others as better than ourselves?
We can do better. I can do better. I want to be better.