Thursday, September 16, 2010

Just the Facts

John 12:20-22
20 Some Greeks who had come to Jerusalem to attend the Passover 21 paid a visit to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee. They said, "Sir, we want to meet Jesus." 22 Philip told Andrew about it, and they went together to ask Jesus. - New Living Translation

I've been looking for another car or truck to drive. Now, I've been doing this for some time now, so it's not like I am actively looking to do something soon, much to my wife's frustration. I have an old truck, and being an old truck, let's say it has issues. The carburetor doesn't always carburate, the alternator doesn't always alternate, and the pistons don't always...well, you get the point. But, trying to be a thrifty and frugal person with money now (it's about time), I prefer to get something pre-owned. That, however, leads to the possibility of buying someone else's troubles. Wouldn't it be great if when you went to look at a used car, the seller would be completely honest about the condition? Not too long ago, I called about a car that sounded great and for a pretty decent price - fairly low miles, new tires, no interior damage, good running engine. So what was the problem? Nothing according to the ad. It was only after I called the fellow that I found out that it didn't have a transmission! That's a significant bit of information that was left out. But, the seller still tried to sell me the car based on all of the other things, like he cleans the inside with Armor-all each month. I'm sure it is nice an shiny sitting there in his driveway, unable to move.

I am beginning to thinks that it is just human nature to perpetuate the trivial rather than the central, especially if we haven't really grasped what's really important. I am beginning to think that's a systemic problem among a large percentage of church people and many churches too. Too often, when we try to go out and tell the Good News, it becomes more about what goes on in our church rather than about Jesus. Seekers of Jesus aren't hungering for Bazaars and committee meetings, they hunger and thirst for Jesus.

I think that is why today's scripture is so poignant. The Greeks came searching for Jesus. They weren't looking for theories or postulations. They were after the facts. They weren't at all interested in the "fan club" meeting, the Jesus t-shirts, or I Jesus coffee mugs. They were looking for the real McCoy - they wanted Jesus.

Now, I'm not down on church or on our "feel good" expressions of faith. I just hope that we make sure that in the midst of all the hoopla, we don't forget that what the world is seeking, what the world needs is not more items and programs about Jesus, but Jesus. All these other things should always point and lead to Jesus.


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