Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Footprints of God: Exercise 1

9 comments:

Jemila Monroe said...

I had trouble picking one for this exercise. I think it depends on the day; sometimes I connect with Jesus as savior-redeemer, others as teacher, Lord, friend. But probably I find it hardest to connect with Jesus as friend. I connect better with Holy Spirit in an intimate friendship sort of way. Also, I have so many theological questions about what it MEANS for Jesus to be my savior-redeemer, Lord, Teacher & friend that sometimes this helps and somtimes it hinders me actual relationship with God/Jesus.

Nancy said...

I probably most experience Jesus as my savior and I especially resonate with the freedom given to me through him. Probably almost equally, I can relate to Jesus as my teacher. What I struggle with most is making Jesus truly the center of my life. In an exercise later in the chapter, I picked holiness as my weakest area and I see the two as inter-related. I am also looking forward to the chapter on the incarnational stream. I believe that as I practice Jesus in the center of my being, my thoughts, words and actions will become increasingly more pure and my life will be more incarnational, more a reflection of God's love and beauty to a world starved for these things.

Lori said...

I've (obviously) taken some time to think this over. But my "gut reaction" still holds, that I most relate to Jesus as Lord. My struggle was that the word "lord" seems to imply an authoritarian relationship, while the book's definition "at the center of all my activities" is what I really resonate with. So I'll stick with the definition.
I think I relate to Jesus this way for two reasons: first, I am absolutely enthralled with the idea of Jesus as revolutionary. In part it's my personality (I really like to think outside the box; controversial is good), and in part it's a deep understanding of how deeply our world needs change. So the idea of Jesus at the center--of my life, of the world--implies his active work in "making all things new". Secondly, there's no way at all that such profound change can happen without Jesus at the center. It's just plain impossible.

As far as areas I'd like to see deepen, well, Jemila, I so connect with your theological questions about redemption. Having done a bit of reading on atonement, and the various views thereof, I feel like I have huge questions. Bottom line, in the world around me and in myself I see the grip of sin so strong that only death can break it. How Jesus' death did that, I'd like to get a better grip on.

Amy said...

I had trouble picking for this exercise as well. I'm kind of at a point right now that I feel so far from understanding anything about how God in the form of Jesus works in my life.

Overall, though, I lean toward understanding Jesus as Teacher and Friend. I definitely feel I'm in the role of a student learning and Jesus' example provide a path for me to follow. In that role, I experience Jesus as a friend. A teacher with compassion and patience as well as one that challenges me to move and grow.

Jesus as my Savior is more difficult for me to "get". I see my numerous failures (btw...I am a perfectionist) and tend to focus on them more so than the things I do well and good. It's difficult to truly grasp that Jesus forgives me and sets me free when I have difficulty doing so. As I write, I realize that forgiveness and freedom is given trhough Jesus and is not something I can attain on my own. It's hard for me to accept, though.

Regarding Jesus as Lord, I want him to be. Unfortunately, I see in many of my actions that I don't actually do what I say I believe. I see Jesus' example of true concern and sacrifice for those around him. I strive for this, but again, come SO short! For me, having Jesus as Lord requires me to give up my own selfishness, both in actions and in attitude. I have a lot of growth that needs to happen in this area.

Jemila, I like your comment that sometimes the process of understanding who Jesus is in these roles and what they actually means can either help or hinder the actual relationship. I feel the same.

Jemila Monroe said...

Lori, I love the way you describe your passion for the life and vision of Jesus to LIVE and breathe in the world as Jesus becomes Lord/center of us.

Amy, I definitely resonate with the self-condemnation thing. On one level I get the freedom and self-acceptance and grace thing that comes with knowing God is all-embracing of me. But then there's the me that I am not all embracing of, that I tend to despise and reject and as a result, shut out -- and that hinders God's Spirit from full transforming me from the inside out. This I am working on.

Carri said...

Hi ladies. Tonight I am drinking a cup of hot chocolate and looking forward to "being" with you.

I found that I related best to Jesus as teacher. I think it is because I became a Christian in college and I felt like there was so much for me to learn about my faith. So I think that is why I am still most comfortable with Jesus as teacher. Recently I have been embracing Him more as friend. It gives me great comfort to know that He understands me.

Lori I love how you put this. "Bottom line, in the world around me and in myself I see the grip of sin so strong that only death can break it." It led me to this thought... I wonder if I fully realized the effect that sin has on my life, if would make different decisions.

Kate said...

It was interesting for me to be asked this question as I hadn't considered the different roles Jesus could play in my life.
Jesus as Teacher felt the most comfortable for me, as I am in a season of life where I am seeking direction, guidance and wisdom. As a teacher/educator myself, I understand what is involved in that relationship. The other 'roles' were not as comfortable.
I would like to see myself grow stronger in the Jesus as my Lord.
Saying that though, maybe I should pursue Jesus as Friend first. The Jesus as Teacher role involves a certain amount of respectful distance - which I'm comfortable with. Jesus as Friend requires more intimacy (eek) and then Jesus as Lord is the real butt naked deal.
I have intimacy issues, what can I say!

Lori said...

Isn't it interesting how much of ourselves comes into our relating to Jesus? There are probably two (at least) ways to look at it: 1) It's all about me! and/or 2)God created each of us uniquely, and has shaped us through our life experiences in such a way that we perceive him uniquely. It's only in community that we can begin to see all of him, as we bring together the facets we each see best. How very clever of him!

Jemila Monroe said...

Yes, how very clever of him :)