I was just listening to Rich Mullins and The Ragamuffin Band album, The Jesus Record. This was Mullins last album, which he did not finish recording. His friends decided to finish it for him.
It's not a great album musically but it has some of the best lyrics I've heard from him; so great that it prompted me to think about Jesus.
So for Christmas, some random thoughts on the Savior in no particular order.
One of the songs on The Jesus Record is called "Surely God Is With Us." I love this verse:
" Well who's that man who thinks He's a prophet?
Well I wonder if He's got something up His sleeve
Where's He from? Who is His daddy?
There's rumors He even thinks Himself a king
Of a kingdom of paupers
Simpletons and rogues
The whores all seem to love Him
And the drunks propose a toast!"
You have to know that I am your typical post-modern individual. I am a cynic, a rebel; I've been told I have a problem with authority. I wore black at the age of 10, not because I was into an early goth phase, but because I liked Johnny Cash and his rebellious streak. I think that is one of the reasons I connect with Jesus so well. He did everything he wasn't supposed to do; at least according to the Pharisee in the Sanhedrin.
But he wasn't trying to be a rebel. He didn't have to. He was just doing what came naturally for Him. He expressed grace and love to those we look on with disdain; look down on with disgust. He looked them in the eye and let them know He loved them. There was no motive in His heart but love, forgiveness and acceptance.
Therein lies the heart of rebellion. Rebellion is expressing love to a world filled with hatred and hypocrisy. Rebellion is God standing against the heart of man, shouting at us, "Despite your own hatred and your two-faced nature, your lies and deceipt; in fact, because of it, I am coming down to become one of you. I will rebel against your hearts, and will die for this cause."
I always hear the usual complaints at Christmas time. "Christmas has become so material", we say as we're driving to the mall, talking on our cell phones. "They want to take 'Christ' out of 'Christmas'", we say in a desperate attempt to cast our own sins on 'non-believers'. It would be great if this year, we marvel at who Christ is, and stop looking at what everybody else is doing or thinking. He lived an amazing life that merits constant study. No man before or since Jesus has made such an impact on the world.
And he did it through a rebellion of love.
"I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love." - Mother Teresa