Warning: Might Contain Less Jesus

At least, less than you might expect.

I was reading a story today about an avid bicyclist that is also a pastor in the Church of Christ. Her name is Rev. Laura Everett and I think her story is great and worth learning more about.

But that’s what this brief stream of consciousness is about - it’s about one particular warning she gave on her Twitter. The phrase was, “If you follow me for biking, you’re also going to get a lot of Jesus.”

I was all at once challenged and yet conflicted about this. Do I contain enough Jesus? If I went back through my Twitter feed, would that be a warning I could offer? I’m not sure. I make a lot of jokes. I get pretty hyped about video game and anime news. I like a lot of memes.

Sometimes I even - *gasp* - find myself liking things with wordy-dirties in them.

I’m not sure if that’s something that I do. At least not to the point that it’s necessary for me to make anyone aware of it.

Now, I’m obviously being a bit hyperbolic here - Rev. Everett wasn’t actually issuing some bold declarative warning necessarily. It could be given a spectrum of weight depending on the meaning behind the message.

Nevertheless, it hit me and has made me think a lot about this today.

While I first felt like I should do more to make it worth warning people about the oncoming onslaught of Jesus, I’ve come to the conclusion that a healthy mix is better for me. Maybe even a little lighter on Jesus, actually.

Sometimes we think of Jesus’ ministry in concentrate. We get three years of ministry in four short books of the Bible. If you really set aside the time, you could read the whole collection of the gospel in a productive afternoon.

I’ll have been in the ministry for ten years this summer. I’ve written many, many sermons. I’ve led many, many worship services. If you were to collect all of them, they would likely take up more than an afternoon of time.

Do you know what else I’ve had?

I’ve had boring times. I’ve sat with people in silence. I’ve visited folks for tea and desserts. I’ve twiddled my thumbs through administrative meetings. I’ve counseled some before they say their wedding vows. I’ve had times where we’ve talked about basketball, video games, or the latest Marvel movie.

I’m convinced that there is a lot that Jesus did that wasn’t worth writing down. I’m convinced that Jesus had conversations that would be boring to read. I’m convinced that Jesus laughed at dumb jokes.

I’m convinced that not everything about Jesus has to be about religion.

Sometimes the best example of being Jesus is just to sit and be. Or to like that tweet. Or to tell that joke. Or to retweet that new Pokemon game. Or to just exist.

From what little I know of her, I think Rev. Everett would agree with this sentiment. And - maybe - that was even her own way of saying it. She will be biking, but Jesus is so indelibly tied to the things that we put our energy into that there is no such thing as removing the two.

We don’t need to bicycle wearing a shirt with the entire gospel of John printed on it. Sometimes just riding a bike is enough Jesus. Sometimes being Jesus is about being so yourself that the one who created you shines through your very act of living.

So maybe I don’t contain enough Jesus - or maybe I contain so much it’s unbearable.

Maybe it’s the opposite of the ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ sentiment. Perhaps ‘Jesus is seen in the living, not the looks.’


March 28th, 2022