Imagine this: You are in 8th grade CCD. You are completely distracted, as you are sitting next to your secret crush. All of a sudden, you realize Mrs B. is starring directly at you through her thick, red glasses. She wants you to answer the question she just asked. The problem is you don’t know even know what the question was. Sweat starts building on your forehead, but you quickly remember you’ve got the magic answer to every question:
Is Jesus ever the wrong answer? He might not be the answer to every question in CCD, but I want to look at why Jesus is the answer you, the church, and the world needs.
Why do I need Jesus?
If you have been following Jesus for sometime now, it’s easy to want to move on to deeper things. Sometimes going deeper in your faith might seem like moving away from the basics of faith. Maybe you are thinking, “Sure, choosing to follow Jesus was an important decision in my life, but I want something more substantial now.” This is not and cannot be the reality of our lives.
I am not suggesting we can’t grow deeper in our faith or grow in knowledge and understanding, but that at the center of it all must be Jesus. We never move beyond Jesus. We never stop needing a savior and a lord.
I would assert that people don’t actually abandon their faith over intellectual or philosophical differences and doubts. People leave the church because they take their eyes off Jesus. We need the love of Jesus each and every day of our lives. When we let him love us fully it is difficult because it means letting him into our hurt and our pain. To respond to his love means that like the early disciples we surrender completely to him.
When you surrender control to Jesus, your doubts and questions don’t magically disappear. The difference is you try to start with trust and then you work through your doubts and questions with prayer.
In desiring a greater prayer life, I used to believe I needed to find the perfect posture or learn some special words to say to God in prayer. I wanted a mystical experience of God. I wanted to find Jesus in a deeper way. I realized that I didn’t need to find Jesus. Not only did Jesus become man, die on the cross, resurrect from the dead, and give us his very body, blood, soul, and divinity in the Eucharist, he meets me every day in my heart if I only let him.
The God of the universe desires to spend time with me. He wants me to tangibly know and experience his love for me. That blows my mind- God is so good to us. Jesus longs for you to meet him in prayer. You don’t need fancy words or perfect posture. Just speak to him from your heart. Say his name, Jesus. It’s a simple but powerful prayer.
The Church Needs Jesus.
Seems like a relatively simple statement, but sadly it’s a reality that can get easily lost. Our focus as the Church must always be Christocentric, that is centered on Jesus. There is no program, no new evangelization app, no social justice initiative or liturgical reform apart from Jesus that is going to fix the Church. None of those things are bad, but they must be all focused on Jesus and people experiencing and encountering Jesus.
A good friend of mine likes to say over and over again that the Church is the only organization in the world that exists for the sake of those who don’t belong to it. Our primary focus must be introducing people to Jesus and helping them to grow in their relationship with him.
Everything we teach must in some way point people to Jesus and his love for us. It’s the only light that makes the teachings of Jesus and the Church make sense. We are created out of love for love!
The World Needs Jesus
Last week I posted about politics (that was fun….), but in all seriousness, my main point was that we must bring Jesus to the world. A few people expressed disappointment because they wanted me to say who we should vote for, but that wasn’t my intention.
Even if you had the perfect candidate, you would still need a savior. It’s a myth to believe any candidate can literally save us. WE NEED JESUS. The world desperately needs Jesus. This election screams that…Jesus is the answer. Do you live that reality?
I hope we can find a way to put more energy into evangelization than we do politics. We may want our country to be a more perfect union, but our main goal is our perfect union with Jesus.
My prayer is that you would experience and know the tangible love of Jesus today. Let’s keep our eyes on him.
Here’s my question for you that I would love to know your answer to, how have you experienced Jesus recently? How have you seen your need for Jesus in you life in the past couple of weeks? I would love to hear your thoughts. Share below…