“NEW LIFE” BULLETIN – VOL. 28, NO. 23&24 – 21st Century Jesus
Let’s start out by admitting that we all make Jesus in our own image. If you deny that you are fooling yourself.
Perhaps it is impossible not to, after all, even those who knew him did it. However, they had a better reason, in my opinion. They were looking for the promised Messiah that the prophets had promised God would send to restore Israel.
I’m not talking as much about that as I am the struggle to see Jesus as relevant in today’s world. Because of the time difference between Jesus and us, we tend to interpret him in our culture. Various literary attempts at this have been tried. The Man Nobody Knew was one, and Joshua was the latest, as far as I know. The Man Nobody Knows was an attempt to recreate Jesus in his own time, as a salesman who was physically fit as he assembled a crack sales crew. He is seen as going home to his upstairs bedroom and looking at his childhood things, as if Jesus had a middle class home.
Most of this ” husky” view of Jesus has come from the emaciated, medieval Jesus of the middle ages. No one wants a wimp for a Messiah. The problem is it assumes that physical strength is the most effective strength. History would prove otherwise. Gandhi was a small man who changed the world around him. The Dali Lama is a respected figure when it comes to peace and moral living. The list could go on, but we all want a Jesus who fits our needs.
Developing a physical picture of Jesus is not a major deal. What is a major deal is reading the teachings of Jesus and then bending them to fit our wishes. To tell the truth, as I view the “Christian” world, I see a vast variety of Jesus images. Which of them are right, or at least closer to the real thing than the others? To answer that I suppose we would have to know the real Jesus. I don’t mean to actually live back then, but to know the Jesus revealed in scripture, which most Christians think they do.
As for me, I know what I have been taught influences me, especially in the areas where Christians have different views. For example, my background was more conscientious objection when it came to war. However, my brother served in the army, and so did other Christian friends. If you know the debate over that, you know, as always, a good amount of scripture was used on both sides.
How do we deal with Jesus today? I saw a depiction of Jesus (head and shoulders) standing behind a child of six or seven, teaching the child how to fire a handgun. My assumption was it was satire, and while it may have been, does it depict a modern understanding of how Jesus would live in today’s world? If you’re reading this on line, please don’t quote scripture or tell me your opinion, either way. I’m not taking an opinion poll. As I’ve said before, scriptural arguments solve little to nothing once the mind is made up.
You see, I’m caught in the dilemma of Jesus as much as anyone. What am I to do with “You have heard that it was said,’Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who want to borrow from you.” ? (Matt. 5:38-42)
Obviously our first thought is to fit these words into a historical framework. How much of it had to do with marshal law, i.e., the Roman government, and did it apply to all “evil” persons, or just those who would insult you? It is at this point we may be serious, but we are in danger of throwing the baby out with the bath water. We end up with little to nothing of what Jesus meant.
I think the hardest thing about being a Christ-follower is to find the nature of God in Jesus and then let that mold us, rather than we molding it to fit our wants and desires. Maybe it’s what Paul said when he wrote, “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection. (Phil. 3:10)
CONCERNS: Martha Foy’s uncle is doing better. Teresa Wilcox asks our prayers for her aunt, Patricia Hall, and her brother, Michael Wilcox, who is having heart issues. Melisha Scruggs asks prayers for her cousin. Jim White’s mother, Carol Jones; Teryn Gaynor’s mother (cancer treatment) Sheila Jansen and her daughter, Amber Weaver. Marjorie Wilson, (cancer) Melanie Gentry, Joni Beach’s parents, and her aunt, Pat Voss and a niece, Jamie Cole. Jim Hunter, Wayne Phlegar, David Albert, Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas. Sandy Blanchard has died. Ray and Darnel Barns, Gil Richardson, Deana McRoy, Stephanie Rigney, Jim and Mary Smith and Tim Elder.
OUR DAILY BREAD: JULY 4-9
Monday: I Samuel 16:1-13
Tuesday: Mark 15:1-20
Wednesday: Luke 12:1-12
Thursday: I John 2:11-24
Friday: I Peter 4:1-19
Saturday: Saturday: Psalm 11:1-7
OUR DAILY BREAD: JULY 11-16
Monday: Psalm 119:57-72
Tuesday: Matthew 12:38-50
Wednesday: James 1:19-27
Thursday Jonah 3:1-4:11
Friday: Romans 6:1-23
Saturday: Psalm 113:1-9
Jim and Mary Smith will be celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary this month. Their children, Donna and PJ are hosting a reception in their honor on July 16th at the Botetourt Room at the Glebe, from 2:00 & 4:00 PM. They have invited us to join them in the celebration. No need to RSVP, and no gifts please.
The invitation and welcome note is on the table in the foyer
As you will see when you enter the auditorium, the TVs have been mounted o the wall. Thanks to James Downing and Mike Branch, with help from Del Bolin and KW they are in place. They will not be functional until all the necessary equipment is assembled and hooked up. When ready they will serve as a virtual song book with the words and music from the pew hymnals. Therefore, the hymnals may be used as well. The set up also allows us to uses other songs via a very reasonable copyright licence. The morning text can be displayed so it can be followed. As we learn more, some announcements will scroll before the service starts, as well as the prayer list.
Keith and Jo Wagner will be on vacation, along with the Downings from July 16th through July 24th. Todd and his family, as well as Hope and Jerry will be joining them at the beach. The first Sunday they will be gone is the third Sunday, so the service will be planned by one of the steering committee. The second Sunday’s speaker will be announced.
The “yard” sale went well, and thanks to Erma Williams, a number of left over things from past VBS programs were sold by her. Thanks to Megan Downing for doing the advertising and signs.
Alan Beach has returned from his check-up at the Mayo Clinic and everything is fine. He and Joni have been spending time in North Carolina helping with her parents, and they helped Alan’s parents relocate to North Carolina.
WEST VIRGINIA AID
Roger Fisher has a friend who is taking supplies to flooded WV. Roger will take them to the man. We’ll talk about this on Sunday.