Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Bono, Jesus, & Identity Implications

So this morning I read an interview with Bono (you know, the Catholic-U2 lead singer-outspoken global advocate for the poor…) and his thoughts on Christ.  It is an interesting interview.  During an interaction between the interviewer and Bone, the interviewer states that it is hard to believe Jesus’ claims that He was actually the Son of God.  Prophet, OK.  Wise man, sure.  Just not the actual messiah.  Not the Son of God.  Here is Bono’s response:
"...But actually Christ doesn’t allow you that. He doesn’t let you off that hook. Christ says: No. I’m not saying I’m a teacher, don’t call me teacher. I’m not saying I’m a prophet. I’m saying: “I’m the Messiah.” I’m saying: “I am God incarnate.” And people say: No, no, please, just be a prophet. A prophet, we can take. You’re a bit eccentric. We’ve had John the Baptist eating locusts and wild honey, we can handle that. But don’t mention the “M” word! Because, you know, we’re gonna have to crucify you..." (
I find this response fascinating!  In fact, I have been thinking about it since I read it (and my guess is that I will be thinking about it for some time).  You see, the real question for all of us to consider is what we think of Jesus.  I mean, what we really think of Jesus!  Was Jesus just a cool dude?  Was Jesus one prophetic voice among many?  Or was Jesus…more?  Was He, as He claimed, the Son of God?  The second person of the Trinity?  God incarnate?  How you respond to such questions matters.
In John’s gospel account, Jesus talks directly with His disciples more about His identity than He does any other subject.  More than anything!  Jesus wanted His disciples to understand that He was…and is…God incarnate!  We may not like the implications of His claimed identity, but it is who He was!  We may prefer to reduce Him to some manageable role, but Jesus doesn’t allow us that! 
So, I continue to ponder and reflect.  What does it mean for my life that I have been united with the life of Christ?  What does it mean that, through baptism, I died and now Christ lives in me?  What should my life look like as a result of such death and rebirth?  What should others see in my life?  How does my life reflect my new identity in Christ?  How am I growing in what it means to love God, to love others in His name, and to make disciples…followers…of the Son of God?  Like I said, I continue to reflect…but I also continue to pursue a life that reflects my new identity!  And I encourage you to join me…

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Honoring God's Name

What is the undisputed, unqualified, undeniable purpose of your life?  Too profound?  How about this…what will the goal of your day be?  Are you just trying to get to the next weekend?  Are you desiring to get that next product, promotion, or praise?  Are you trying to raise good kids or be a good spouse?  Are you trying to be the best bank manager, teacher, police officer, sales rep, or whatever that you can be?  What is the real purpose of your day?  Take a minute to be honest with yourself…
Now, can I suggest something to you?
What if, as a baptized child of God, the real goal of your day was to glorify the name of your Father?  What if this entire day was about living out your identity as a child of the Father?  How would your day be different if that was how you approached today?
In John 12 (my assigned devotional reading for today), Jesus is experiencing a moment of inner conflict.  He is praying.  Here is what He prays…
“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.”
Interesting.  Should Jesus pray to His Father to save Him?  Is that the ultimate goal?  Safety?  Rescue?  Security?  No.  Instead, Jesus prays that the Father would be glorified.  That the divine name would receive the honor that it deserves.  That is the purpose of Jesus’ coming.  That is the purpose of the precise moment He faced, as well as His entire life.  That God’s name would be glorified/honored/acknowledged.
So what about us?  This is the question I am reflecting on this morning as I sit in Starbucks.  What is the goal of my life?  What is the goal of my today?  What is the goal of my right now?  As we enter the season of Lent, am I focused on the right things in my life?  What would my life look like (how would THIS day be different) if I tried to live with the primary goal of honoring the name of the Father?
This is what I am thinking of today.  Not in generalities, but trying to think of specific things that I might do today to honor God’s name.  This is my goal today.  I invite you to join me…