'I know Jesus is there . . .
I know God hears my prayers, but . . .
I just wish I could touch him', I've felt that, I've heard that a hundred times.
'I wish I could feel his touch . . . ya know what I mean?'
At times, all of us wish we could just see Jesus in person, wish that we could touch him. I once heard about a little boy who was going to sleep for the night and was afraid of the dark. So he crept his way into his mom's room and whispered, "Mama, I'm afraid."
She said, "Don't worry, son. Jesus is with you."
He thought about it for a minute, and then said, "I know He is, Mama, but I want someone with skin on." We smile, but we understand it.
How many times have we felt that same way in the midst of a trial? We know Jesus is there, but we want someone with skin on. Someone who is willing to walk alongside us, to feel our pain, to comfort us and to counsel us.2
In the last Morning Briefing, 'Of Vines, Viticulture and Life!' https://conta.cc/2lbGxk4
we looked at how staying connected to the true Vine, Jesus, is life . . . that when we get distracted and find ourselves disconnected to him, the result is that we grow weaker. Yes, we grow a little less patient, a little more fearful coupled with being less hopeful, probably less loving, a little less kind and perhaps generally more critical of others.
God's plan from the beginning was for us to live in community. After all, God said, "Let us (TRIUNE God) make man in our image..."3 And that's what he did. Not surprising then that not too long after God created Adam, he declared it was not good for him to be alone, and he created Adam's mate, Eve. That's because God is all about relationship--first relationship with him, then relationship with one another.
Maybe you encountered Jesus with skin on when the worst news came your way. I've seen it - the medical report was bad ... but she was not alone. See, she was part of a group of women who knew what to do, and they mobilized on her behalf. They began praying for her, asking God to come and give her peace. Then they checked in with her, 'Hey, could I bring you a meal tonight?' 'Would you like me to go with you to that appointment?' Solomon was right when he said:
A cord of three strands is not easily broken.4
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.
If one person falls, the other can reach out and help.
But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.5
While many of us have familial relationships through the local church, many do not, so we must seek it out. I have oft read so fondly about the early days of the Church and the believers who met together daily.
Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple, and broke
bread from house to house. They ate their food with joyful and sincere hearts,
praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.
Every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.6
My all-time favorite sitcom was Cheers, but I think that is in large part because of the song. I mean really. Okay, yes, I loved how Norm would 'round the corner into the familiar setting, how Sam would look up and smile. And knowing that 'making your way in the world today takes everything you got... taking a break from all your worries, it sure would help a lot. Wouldn't you like to get away? Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name and they're always glad you came . . .you want to be where you can see the troubles are all the same ... you want to be where everybody knows your name." Love.that.song. But what Sam Malone's place was missing was God. Friends, when our common link is Jesus Christ, we start as familiar strangers-people whose faces are not known, but whose course is set toward Heaven. There is nothing like that bond anywhere-people who love Jesus and have each other's backs.
So if you want Jesus with skin on, find a Christian community ~ a church or
a Bible study or even a 12-step program who claims Jesus as the
Higher Power, like Celebrate Recovery. Go on . . .
ya got nothin' to lose.
Jesus with skin on? Closest thing is being connected to people who love him.
1 - What in the world is the attention-grabbing title that will prompt folks to open and read an email?! I have asked myself that for more than 11 years over thousands of Morning Briefings! www.pastorwoman.net scroll down to "Teachings"
3 - Genesis 1.26
4 - Ecclesiastes 4.12
5 - Ecclesiastes 4.9-10, NLT
6 - Acts 2.46-47, CSB