Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Big & Small

Praise God for the enormous, incredible majesty of the Lord and for his friendship and love for little old me and you.

The other day I heard the term “cozy Jesus.” Someone complained that many people want Jesus not to make them uncomfortable, to be a soft-hearted person who just gives out “warm-fuzzies” and makes you feel good. It got me thinking. When I think of Jesus as my friend, am I guilty of reducing him to a “cozy Jesus”? When I imagine him walking beside me, listening in love, feeling my sorrow and pain, understanding me...is that making him small, taking away his greatness?

We speak and sing of God’s majesty, his immenseness. We are in awe of how great he is. I read that a tribe somewhere called God “Big-big” to try to get at the incredible hugeness of the concept of God.

I think this is one of those “both and” as opposed to “either or” situations that some people bring up in relation to God. Jesus is not either big or small, either making you feel uncomfortable or cozy, either inspiring you with his awesomeness or reminding you of his humanness. He is “both and.”

I think of the love of my mom -- my dad, too, and others I love. When I was sick, no one could make me feel more cozy, more comfortable, more knowing that I would be okay than my mom. She served me saltines and tea when my tummy was upset. She put cool cloths on my skin when I was sunburnt. She hugged me when I cried, listened when I needed to talk, all the things a good mom does for her beloved child. AND when I needed to hear I was wallowing in self-pity, she told me. When I needed to take steps I did not want to in order to improve my lot, she gave me advice. When I needed medicine I didn’t want to take, she made sure I took it anyway.

Jesus is like a loving mom. He loves us and wants all the good things for us. His actions are consistently and always towards that end, like a good mom’s are.

I often think of the apostle Peter when considering how Jesus showed his love. Peter messed up a lot. One of his biggest failures was when he denied knowing Jesus during the time leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion. In his impulsive way, Peter declared positively that he would never deny Jesus. And shortly after, he did -- three times! Just as Jesus had said he would. And when the rooster crowed at the third denial, Jesus turned his gaze across the courtyard and looked at Peter. Peter did not feel warm and cozy when Jesus caught his eye. He felt ashamed, more shame almost than he could bear. Yet, imagine Jesus’ eyes looking at Peter at that moment. His look was not gloating, saying, “See, I told you so! You better listen to me next time.” Jesus was full of love for Peter. Jesus felt Peter’s shame. He knew Peter loved him, and even when flooded with shame, Peter knew Jesus loved him. Both and.

There’s a lot of “both and” involved in our faith. We cannot understand who God is AND he became a human who we can understand because we are humans, too. God is huge, in everything, he is everywhere, AND he cares about tiny little me. Bad things happen AND God is good.

That “both and” thing is a big part of the mystery of faith. It is not sensible. It is not logical. It is true.

Praise God for the enormous, incredible majesty of the Lord and for his friendship and love for little old me and you.

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. ~~Luke 12:6,7

PS - When my brother was a little kid, he announced, “I know what I’m going to ask God when I get to heaven!” "What," we asked. He answered, “How many hairs are on my head?”

What can I pray about for you?

love and blessings,

If you would like to send me specific prayer requests I will gladly pray with you. Email me at mavis at moonfamily.cc. I'll keep all communication confidential.

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