For years, although extremely active in church, I struggled with being told “Jesus is the answer”
or “It is all about Jesus”. I struggled with being told “Just focus on Jesus and all will be well”. I focused on Jesus as hard as I could, yet all was not well, and my heart was not at peace.
In the struggles of my life, this Unitarian “Jesus” was not the answer. I cried out to help and seemingly there was no answer. I read the Bible many times from cover to cover, I was an elder in a large Baptist/non-denominational church, I led small group studies, and I served in every capacity from setting up chairs to mopping to cleaning bathrooms. Each week I sang praise songs which provided a temporary feeling and emotion, but somewhere in my heart and mind something still seemed missing.
During a time of searching, I reached a conclusion. This conclusion would be considered heresy to some, but it is a conclusion that would have considered obvious throughout more than 2000 years of church history. This conclusion is “Jesus alone is not the answer”
Christianity is much more than a generic Jesus. It is story of redemption, first through thousands of years of Jewish history, then through 2000 years of history since Christ. From the beginning it has been about the Father, the Son, and the Spirit as they carried out this grand story of redemption. This is a wonderful story which is carried out and finalized through the death, burial, resurrection, and future return of the Son.
Somewhere in the last half of the 20th Century, most American Christianity redefined Jesus as a singular figure who helps us through adversity and enables us to be good parents, good money managers, and good sports players. Maybe for someone, this generic “Jesus” helped them, but he didn’t help me.
Instead, I am only beginning to realize that I am part of a grand and wonderful redemption story. I am one of many saints throughout the ages who are part of this redemptive story. This story is not about a generic Jesus being the answer to my life’s problems, but it is rather about being a part of this story.
During this Advent season, as those involved in this story look forward to both the first and future return of Christ, I take time to reflect, and remember my place in this beautiful story.