Monday Musings for 10.12.20


Dear Friends,

I have a stack of books that have been resources for “Bible 101.”  One is Kenneth C. Davis’ Don’t Know Much About the Bible.  Here is how he opens one of his chapters:

Thirteen men get off an airplane arriving from Damascus at JFK Airport.  Most are unshaven and their clothing smells a little ripe — there is a pungent hint of fish and sheep.  Wearing tunics and dusty sandals, they carry no luggage — just walking sticks and sacks holding a spare tunic.  Immediately, red lights go off at Customs.  A team of inspectors ushers the group into a room to go through procedures.  Suspicious Immigration officers stand nearby, guns at ready.  The edgy inspectors assume the obvious — they have a band of Middle East terrorists in hand.

The men are asked routine questions.  But their answers are unusual. They have no passports; they say they recognize no governments.  They have no money to declare; God takes care of their needs.  Their tickets had been paid for by wealthy friends back home.  They have come “to teach America the truth,” they say.  Facing detention, they are quite sophisticated about local ordinances; one of them requests political asylum and an immigration hearing — and he wants that hearing to be in Washington, D.C., in front of the American President!

This is what might happen if Jesus and his twelve disciples flew into a modern airport.  And it’s a sure thing they wouldn’t have resembled Sallman’s fair-skinned, blue-eyed Jesus.

Is it possible that followers of Jesus, good people like you and me, would not recognize Jesus if we saw him?  His physical appearance or the way he lived his life and invites us to live ours?

I am haunted by the words of Tim Keller:

One of the things that will happen when you actually take seriously getting to know the people outside your church is that you will get to know people who don’t believe in God who are kinder, wiser, better, and more generous than you.

Is that possible?  That there might be someone who doesn’t even love Jesus who is kinder, wiser, better, and more generous than you?  Or, let’s get real.  If you are a Biden Democrat, is it possible that there are Trump Republicans out there who are kinder, wiser, better, and more generous than you?  If you are a Trump Republican, is it possible that there are Biden Democrats out there who are kinder, wiser, better, and more generous than you?

It’s always good to question our assumptions.  It’s always dangerous to be too sure of ourselves.

Just when I think I have Jesus figured out, he surprises me.  He challenges me.  He makes me uncomfortable.  I saw a sign on someone’s desk last week:

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

So how comfortable are you?

In Christ,