I'm losing sight of my Christ lately because of the cultural gap that separates me from his walk on our earth. I want to appreciate who he is, I really do, I just can't see him today.
Therefore, I'm going outside the box to place Jesus in the culture I do see.
What would I think of Jesus if he hadn't been a carpenter 2000 years before my time?
What if Jesus had come to earth as a baseball player in the 21st century?
As a man without err, Jesus would have a 1.00 career batting average. The second-place holder in history books would be Ty Cobb, with a not-so-near .367.
Ed Walsh has the lowest ERA in man's history, allowing an average of 1.82 runs per game. That's 1.82 more than Jesus would have let through.
If you can remember the hype that electrifies our media when a star athlete is on the rise - Remember Tiger Woods? Remember Michael Jordan? Michael Phelps? The 1996 USA Women's Gymnastics team? The 1996 Chicago Bulls? The 1996 everything? (It was a good year for sports.) Take a minute to fathom the sensationalism that would surround a promising athlete who had never failed. Never taken second place. You know that energy that surrounds a pitcher who has yet to give up a hit in the 7th inning? Imagine a pitcher that never gave up a hit... ever. Our focus would become a magnet to this athlete. A great amount of media attention would be given to speculation and anticipation of the error we are sure is to come.
And then, what if it didn't? Would we continue to praise and support someone who never did fail? Would we get bored with the predictability? Would we make accusations that the athlete is using steroids or bribing officials, because we are just that uncomfortable with someone being that much better than us?
How easy it would be to capture my attention if Jesus were a baseball player. But, then again, how easy it would still be for me to take him for granted. How easy it would be for him to be persecuted again.
I'm praying this morning that I not take Christ for granted. I cannot fully appreciate the way he sacrificed his body (and not just in death, but in his lifestyle - regularly denying his flesh the ways of the world) until I am prepared to deny mine as well. I can deny my body its desires by waking up earlier than I would naturally to spend time in the Word. I can deny my body its desires by withholding dinner for an evening. I can deny my body its desires by making larger monetary contributions, when really all I want is to put every dime into remodeling our house.
I believe I am one person in three parts: body, soul, and spirit. My spirit is where the Holy Spirit is housed within me, as I am a saved believer. My soul is my mind+heart place where I interpret reality. I can choose to interpret reality using my body or my spirit. Body and spirit are polar opposites - to deny one is to accept the other. When I turn my back on my body's wants, by default I am running to the spirit. And guess who's there waiting.