This Is What Jesus Looks Like

The past two weeks, I have removed, relocated, boxed, and stored any number of images of Jesus, the “Blessed Mother”, various saints, and more. While my own feelings toward organized religion, including that of my husband’s mother, are a wee bit hostile (understatement), the one thing I can say about my mother-in-law’s faith is that she lovingly sent money to people she believed were helping the poor, even when she probably didn’t have it to send.

In many ways, I have felt my own faith heritage has been both a blessing and a curse. The church of my childhood and most of my adulthood unquestioningly and abundantly sends money wherever people are hurting or in need. However, the legalistic aspects of both of these systems of religious belief often left me feeling the methods and rituals were more important than the original purpose.

It has become a habit of mine to point out that what we see on Sunday morning has absolutely nothing to do with Jesus. Therefore, my feelings toward anything “church” have become very disconnected from my feelings about the human being that was Jesus of Nazareth.

And then I see a post like this one over at Trey Morgan’s website.

And this one.

And all I can say is this MUST be what Jesus and the apostles looked like. Forget the pretty windows. Forget the little trays of crackers and grape juice. Forget the warm bathtub waters of a baptistry. These people are feeding hungry, desperate human beings and doing everything in their power to heal them. Jesus did those very things.

These people get it.

If you read Trey’s website, you will notice that he has a paypal donation button on the right side of his page.

I am about to hit that button, because this is the image of Jesus I want the world to see. Not some halo enshrined angelic entity created by Michaelangelo. Not some White Knight wielding a flaming sword and cutting off heads.

This is the face of Jesus.

This is where I want my money to go.

2 Responses to “This Is What Jesus Looks Like”

  • Matt H:

    Makes you wonder. If Jesus was here today, would he even come to our church building? I dont think he would, were the ones that think we have it all figured out, he would be trying to reach the ones that need his healing touch.

    • I’ve thought about this a lot lately. He DID go to the synagogue, but what did he do while he was there? Did he worship according to Jewish tradition while there? Or did he teach a better way while there. He was certainly attacked by the leadership while there. They didn’t exactly like his methods and messages. I should probably study it a bit more.

      I think he might show up, but I doubt it would be to participate in the proceedings precisely as they are typically conducted. He tended to take advantage of a captive audience to teach his message of loving people as more important than process and tradition.

      And if there is one thing I have learned through my cleaning and sorting adventures, it is that we (and I use that term loosely at this point) certainly don’t have the market cornered on that “thinking we have it all figured out” thing. Every “religion” thinks they have it all figured out. That’s why they exist. They think their way is somehow better, smarter, safer, more pleasing to God, etc. than the one down the street. The blood that has been shed throughout world history, and the relationships that have been severed in modern history over the rightness of “the how” are quite tragic.

      Unfortunately, a person can’t just go down the street or to the next bigger town and find a righter right way, a more flexible right way, or even a bigger and better way. It’s just a different way, and it is totally subject to the whims and opinions of a small group of controlling people within the organization. It will still likely miss the true “why” in favor of pursuing the perfect “how”. Odds are pretty high that a person will find fear and ignorance somewhere in the mix.

      So how do we imitate the “why”? Is going to church with these people the answer? I think not. I am still pretty sure the “how” is way up there on their priority list. HOWEVER, they seem to at least have their focus on the “why” and apparently they’ve stopped allowing the “how” to interfere with the “why”. Maybe we can look to that example and begin to implement it in our lives.

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