The Upside Down, Right Side Up Call of Jesus
Do we live so far removed from the call of Jesus that we have forgotten the uniqueness of it? How personally fitted to us it is? How life-changing it is so that we can’t help but stand out a little like the aliens we are? We live with the resurrecting breath of God empowering us. We live in this disconnected world with a cohesion no political structure or economic stability can give.
We’ve taken the long road to the cross. We reviewed the encounters Jesus had along the way. We agonized over the pain and torture our salvation cost. If it did anything, it should empty us of any unchristlike pursuit to fill us anew with resurrection power.
Power not weakness. Power, not complaint about Christian put-downs in our culture. Not arguments that divide. We are called to follow the resurrected Christ and take up his mission.
And what is the mission? The mission is to take his words into our world and live them among people who don’t understand them. We are called to live in counter-cultural ways, not just to be different, but to be Christlike.
Have we stopped hearing the call of Jesus who comes alongside us in everyday moments to say “Follow me.” “Take my yoke.” “Believe in me.” Where have we subtly substituted the call from so many voices to do more and be more only to live with more emptiness and questions?
Jesus calls us to a full life, not a fractured one. He makes us whole in a broken world. He makes us the bread he will multiply to address the spiritual poverty all around us.
I know this, but I don’t always live like I do. I am too careful, too hesitant, too caught up in so many other voices that make it too easy to be unavailable.
I need to go back to the mountain near the Sea of Galilee where Jesus taught his longest lesson. We call it the Sermon on the Mount. It was his manifesto for the new life he offered. He turned the expected on its head and called for new ways to behave, respond, forgive. He called us to live above the need to worry. It was a reversal of everything the first followers had heard or known. And they hungered for it.
I want to renew that hunger in me. For that reason, I’m going to refresh our memory about the call of Jesus as he expressed it in the Sermon on the Mount through my bi-monthly reflections. Nothing defines discipleship more than the lifestyle drawn for us in this great teaching.
So get ready for the simple truths that have the potential to help people find a hunger for Jesus they didn’t know they needed. We must become the living illustrations of the Jesus life before we have the right to use our words.