Seven Jesuses! My goodness, that's a lot. I've got seven kids--seven completely different personalities. It can be a bit much to manage at times, but seven Jesuses? If you thought grasping the concept of the trinity was challenging, I can only caution: kids, don't try this at home.
His first Jesus was the Conservative Protestant. How familiar He was, and reading about him left me with a sense of both comfort and fear. This is the Jesus that I always perceived as taking the edge off of the Angry Father God. I met him as a child, reading one of those terrifying Jack T. Chick tracts that were everywhere in the seventies. Enough said.
His second Jesus, the Pentecostal/Charismatic one--now that's the Jesus I fell in love with. This wildly present Jesus was all up in a sistah's life, but I couldn't help but feel that my church was a largely dysfunctional family--the kind that yells and moans a lot, and throws dishes. This Jesus left me as tired, and frustrated, as much as He left me feeling loved and cared for. Or was it Jesus making me feel the more painful feelings? Maybe it was His people, claiming to know Him so well, yet missing the obvious so often. Where was the love and service of Brian's Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Jesus? Where was that love, with busy hands and feet, working in the community, so captivating in Liberal Protestant, Anabaptist, and oppressed Jesuses?
Finishing this chapter, I realized that although I may not have known these seven Jesuses by the names Brian gave them, I knew them all indeed, and more Jesuses than that. They all mingle, and overlap, and intersect, morphing in my heart and head into One Big Jesus, with many faces, still turning his head revealing more faces, more personalities, challenging my ideas about who He is, and what He requires. He is a mystery, ever unforlding. This One Big--and I like that word Big, inadequate as it is, this Jesus continously asserts His sovereignty. He simply refuses to be what I think He is. He outgrows me, every time, and in doing so, He grows me.
Thank God for every Jesus I have known, and every Jesus I have yet to know.
What about you?