Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. 1 John 5, verse 12.
This is for tomorrow. This is for here and now. This is for children, pastors, and grandparents: people we think will understand the subtle yet complex blessings of faith. This is for IT technicians, nurses, housewife volunteers, truck drivers, fast food workers, homeless veterans, friends on Facebook, and TV broadcasters: people unschooled in deep matters of faith.
This is for us.
It’s for us because He died for us. He didn’t die to save the whales, or cows, or Venus fly trap plants. Jesus didn’t die so that we could just have something to talk about, or to try to get it right for once. He died for us.
He died for us so that we could live. And live we do.
I think I mentioned this before but mentioning it here works again. Years ago, my pastor said he would love to be known as a Jesus freak. Here he was, this formal, just-past-middle-aged man, with four kids, an uptight congregation, and a church council that he reluctantly led into consensus. Yet in this statement, he was spot-on. His ministry had begun in the early 1970s during the aftermath of the hippie movement. It’s true that nothing very radical would ever happen, then or now, in the denomination to which we belonged. Yet there he was, my conservatively educated pastor, publicly declaring he would love to be known as a radical hippie Jesus freak.
Not a bad thing to want, I’d say. It’s true because I look back on who I was 20 years ago, when I first heard him say this, and I wonder what in the world I was thinking. I was skeptical, but my pastor was right: he wanted more Jesus in his life, and he wanted people to understand he was out of his mind for Jesus. It wasn’t peace, love and rock & roll; it wasn’t the latest thing in topically-evangelical Colorado Springs. He was on to something.
Jesus is life. My pastor wanted to live. He wanted to experience the fullest possible life. He wanted to fire on all pistons, expand all knowledge, share the good news wherever and however he could. It didn’t matter what the world thought: it mattered what the Lord thought.
It mattered because, without Jesus, life is just marking time between birth and death. Without Jesus, there is no life. Jesus said it Himself: “I am the Way and the truth and the life.” He is the movement of the heart. He is the ultimate honesty. He is full life.
If you dig that, you’re a Jesus freak, like my pastor, and me. You’re a Jesus freak now…and tomorrow…and for eternal tomorrows after that. It was by Him, for us, and forever.
Jesus, let me be fanatical for you. Fill me with your life and love, and teach me to share them both.