Super Bowl Jesus

Would Jesus go to a Super Bowl party?

Would he wear Converse tennis shoes?

And why am I wondering?

I think about these kinds of very deep things sometimes. When I imagine Him here with me. With us.

Matthew 1:23 (the message)
Watch for this–a virgin will get pregnant and bear a son; They will name him Immanuel (Hebrew for “God is with us”).

Yesterday in church I stood alongside so many others, reading lyrics on a screen while music pressed against my heart.   My inadequacy and frustration loud.

I don’t know how to be with you right now Jesus.

Even when you don’t know how to be with Me, I still know how to be with you.

And then I glimpsed a different picture. Instead of a Jesus I’m straining toward in a song on a screen, I feel the nearness of a Jesus standing right beside me.

Jesus with me.

This morning Leighton and I rocked on the porch swing for a few minutes. She was busy (as always) exchanging toys from her princess lunch bag. It’s a process, people.

We take turns saying “cheeeeese” and take pretend pics. She gets a little bossy from time to time with her requests, but don’t we all?

I imagine Him sitting with us on the porch. I imagine Him smiling at Leighton and  whispering, Look what we did together! She’s great and she’s gonna do great things!

I picture Jesus sitting with me on the swing after Leighton relocates to a chair. And I see Him wearing Converse tennis shoes.  Black ones.

I don’t know why because for someone else Jesus probably wears a suit and tie and wing tips.  For me He wears just-be-yourself Converse.

I think that’s the thing.   What does it mean in real life– this God with us?

I mostly read the verse above at Christmas. Immanuel and the manger and all. But how do we reconcile the virgin-born-Savior with our lives today?

(Still reaching and straining when He is already here with us?)

Jesus came as a baby because we’ve all been babies.

He came to us in ways we could grasp.

And we can hardly grasp it.

For more reasons than one, I do believe Jesus would go to a Super Bowl party and I think He would be fun to have around.

I think He wears jeans with frayed edges and flip-flops in the summer.

I believe He’s as real and Holy and touchable as He was in the manger.

I can’t accept the highly choreographed side of things. Religion itself makes Him untouchable and out of reach and we all strive and compete and do a lot of pretending inside the walls of our churches.

Or we never go inside them.

I keep thinking about it.

I need Jesus.

I need a Jesus who will swing with me and stand beside me. I need a Jesus who wades into the strife and tension of my life with me. I need a Jesus I can hear and see and have relationship with.

I need the real thing.  Outside of Sunday.

Jesus never distanced Himself from people.

He spent time in the homes of sinners and outcasts, made time for the brokenhearted and conversed with the curious.

He made religious people mad. And the real Jesus still makes religious people mad.

He had one thing on His mind.

To let the sinner and the sick, the broken and the curious know just one thing.

I’m here.

For you.

With you.

Fishermen and crooks and prostitutes…they dropped everything: nets, money and men.

Because they met Love. Unconditional. Genuine. Authentic. So powerful to be wanted. Accepted. Sought.

Being valued is priceless.

I am so needy for more than Sunday-Jesus.

I need Converse-wearing, Super Bowl watching, loving at all cost Jesus.

I need Immanuel.

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