Let’s Talk About Who Jesus is to Us?

I am an amateur baker. Which is a nice way of saying that the gingerbread cookies I baked this weekend taste delicious but look like a mash-up of white icing and googley eyes. While I’ll never be a master baker, I’ve learned a few things from my mistakes.

Don't overwork the dough. There’s a temptation to believe that everything must be perfect before it goes into the oven, and our attempts to whip the dough into submission actually causes it to become tough, rather than tender.

I believe I face the same danger in my relationship with Jesus. I often want Jesus to fit into my pre-conceived idea of what he should look like, act like, and sound like. Often based on my own fears and worries in any given moment.

Yet, I know Jesus is so much more than my limited understanding. This Advent, I want spend time really asking, ‘Who is Jesus? Why did he come here and why do we still need him now?

I understand that Jesus became human so that we could experience a personal relationship and communion that could only be possible if we saw human-ness in him and believed that he understood our frailty. Yet, I worry that when I see Jesus only as a provider of stuff, or a friend to pal around with, or more uncomfortably a spiritual-lover, I diminish the true sacred mystery that is due the Son of God.

Jesus speaks differently to millennial hipsters in a storefront church in Brooklyn, where they share the communion meal around a table and pass broken bread after they have blessed it and shared an informal homily. Those words would probably sound strange to my 50-something Catholic ears that understand Jesus best through the formality of Eucharist.

 The conservative church that my mother returned to after living with me for twenty years, has changed. The 150-member robed choir sings in the early morning service and is followed by a contemporary service with a rock band.

But it’s also changed in a more important way: it has become a church that serves its community, its elderly, its homeless, as well as the young families that are now its majority.
Other than complaining to the new pastor that the band’s drummer is too enthusiastic, my mother is very content there.

Advent is the perfect time for us to re-consider who Jesus is   and why he came to earth to be born in a manger and grow into a man who came to save the world.

Why? Why did he do this for us?

There are many moments when I am brought to tears of gratitude as I share communion during Mass. And though I am unable to experience his presence in prayer, I do not doubt his existence, or my love for him.

But there are other moments when nothing I do seems to reach Jesus. Sometimes praying with Jesus feels like speaking into the wind. On a spiritual level, I understand that he is there. But on an emotional level, I am never sure that he is listening. I want to have a deep relationship with Jesus, to know that I am in his presence.

I want to have the Best Christmas, ever. But that means I need to spend Advent preparing to meet the babe in the manger, the Newborn King. I need to renew my relationship with Jesus. This Advent is the perfect time to begin.

Join me in preparing for The Best Christmas, ever.


Popular Posts