Has Jesus Become a Distraction?

Has Jesus Become a Distraction?
Over the last several weeks I’ve really been wondering about the primacy of Christ’s role in Christianity today. For the most part, while I understand the worship and tendency towards trying to know, learn and encourage one another in the faith, I am wondering if our worship of Jesus hasn’t rather become something of a distraction on Christ’s real teachings about loving others.
During a very healthy and powerful time of meditation in one of my classes the other day, I became very aware that in our reflecting on ancient art which depicted Jesus’ life, that we may have made too much of Jesus’ place in all these paintings. Don’t get me wrong, as I’ve said before, I sensed that the time was very powerful. It was just that I realized that we very rarely spend time going through the albums of our own lives and asking questions about the incarnation of God, or the presence of God, or the redemption of God. And yet, when people think about Jesus and worship Jesus, these are the kinds of things that automatically come to mind.
And why don’t we take the time to look through our photos and images of our own lives with the same sort of perspective? What might one find if we took a walk through the family photo album (electronic or otherwise) and asked questions like: Where in these people, at this time, do we see the unique revelation of God? Or, how does the photographer hope to capture the redemption of God in the birth of this child, or the death of this soldier? Or even still, why do you think the photographer took the photo such that the light fell like that?
In her book, On the Mystery, Catherine Keller suggests that in many ways, the Jesus of Nazareth “would not have passed” many of our Christological assumptions. In many ways, I really wonder if Keller is right. I wonder if the Jesus of Nazareth would want all the “worship” that has been given to him, or if Jesus of Nazareth might be off put by it. I wonder, as Rollins, if Jesus really came to start a new religion. Even if Keller or Rollins are not right, the questions remain important.
Question: If in fact we can perceive and honor the createdness of God in all of creation and in every human, why can’t we learn to treat the divine in the every with the same awe and reverence that we have so deeply shown to that real and often mythic figure called Jesus?
Answer: Maybe we don’t, because if we did, things would change. Maybe we don’t, because if we did, we’d have to change. And then again, maybe we don’t change simply because we never ask questions which would challenge the way we like things to be!
What do you see? Has Jesus become a distraction?
jc

2 thoughts on “Has Jesus Become a Distraction?

  1. Hmm, No i do not think Jesus has become a Distraction. In Fact I don’t believe that theres enough attention brought to Jesus. Instead of trying to Tranlate into everyday life, why not just take the message as its given, Pray everyday and Pass our Faith onto others. Esp, since others have begun to question there believes, can you ask yourself ” Am i a Stumbling rock for others?” and answer it… “Are there things I do and say cause Contridiction? ”
    And Most Important ” Am i unselfishly doing God’s will without Bending the Word of God?”

  2. Thanks for commenting Sean.
    I wonder if somehow context matters in this conversation. In some ways I would agree with you that there may not be enough attention to Jesus when it comes to certain conversations; however, your earthing it back in self is really helpful.
    I do wonder though: don’t you believe that the message we have now, that is as it is presented in the gospels is a translation of some sorts. That is a retelling of what went on?
    Thanks again for the conversation….
    jc

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