Friday, August 13, 2010

The Jesus Way

If the world hates you,
know that it has hated me before it hated you.

John 15:18

Marian always wore her snowy hair in a tidy French twist. With hearing aids firmly in place, you would find her, every Sunday, at the doors of our sanctuary handing out her warm “hellos” and “we’re glad you came.” Her conservative style and Norwegian sensibility were in sharp contrast to our alternative lifestyle community. She was unique, but, what one never failed to recognize was Marian’s devotion to Jesus.

Even though she was over twice my age and had studied the Bible far longer than I, she came every week to the Bible study I taught. She was firm in many of her ideas and, at times, her Biblical doggedness frustrated me. But it was from Marian that I learned one of my most important lessons, “when you raise up the name of Jesus, trouble is going to happen.”

If we are genuine about living in the Kingdom, being the name of Jesus in the marketplace, lifting him up in our churches, making our lives a living testimony to Christ’s character, there will be obstacles--big ones, mean ones, gossipy ones. Rarely has a day gone by that I am not reminded of Marian’s insight, “when you raise up the name of Jesus, trouble is going to happen.”

Trouble surrounded Jesus from his birth, continuing until his death. Personally, this makes me squirm--I want people to like me! But, knowing that Jesus walked through the trouble, the hatred, the animosity and plots against his life, gives me confidence to keep walking the Jesus Way.

The world, or even closer, maybe some of our friends may “hate” us. But, we’re not alone. Jesus lived it--to the cross.

Jesus, I am afraid of people not liking me
and so I keep quiet about You, about what is
right and wrong. About sin!
Help me to live, breathe, speak. . .You!

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