Today I saw an SUV with a bumper sticker on the back that read, in big bubbly letters, CSAVED. The fact that it was located next to the one with Calvin (of Calvin and Hobbes, not the Tulip guy,) clued me in that CSAVED stood for SAVED, just with a "C" in the front. When I pulled closer I recognized that CSAVED was also an acronym, and within each bubbly letter was the name of a person, presumably a member of the family occupying the SUV. C=Christine, S= Samantha, A=Anthony, etc. (not the exact names.) My first thought was "Dear God, please don't let it be that the parents of this family named each of their kids in such a way that when they all became Christians they could put a CSAVED bumper on the back of their vehicle." My second thought was when am I going to stopped being surprised and angered at this level of silliness that has pervaded evangelical culture. I mean, I live in Waco. I should just come to grips with the fact that this is par for the course.
There are those things, however, that straddle the line between extreme silliness and being extremely meaningful and relevant. Usually the person putting these things out determines which I believe it to be. This tag is one such thing. Carney was tagged with the question to "list five things you dig about Jesus," from someone he respects highly. (He called her his "theological superior.") He responded and his answers were really cogent and inspiring. So, while I would never really use the term "dig" with anything, I will, however, since Carney is my theological superior, share five things about Jesus that really does it for me...
1. Jesus began the whole thing where we value children. Before him, the Children's Miracle Network didn't exist. I think we assume that children have been loved and adored since the beginning of time. Before Jesus people spoke of children in terms of themselves. I.E., the only value these little ones had was in proportion to the amount of fame and fortune they could bring to their parents. Jesus stood that notion on it's head and said no, children are valuable IN THEIR VERY INABILITY to offer us anything that the world deems as worthy.
2. I like that Jesus got angry with those in power, but was kind to those outside of power. But sometimes I have to remember that, in the global scale of things, I have great power. So it's during these times that...
3. I appreciate the mercy and grace Jesus extends even to people like me-- White American males, the epitome of (perceived) power.
4. Jesus seemed to like talking and being silent in equal proportion, and this is like me. I love hearing the sound of my voice, and I think Jesus liked his voice. I also love being quiet, and I often see in the Scriptures where Jesus got away just to be quiet.
5. Jesus ended a chapter of the old story, the one where sin, death, and oppression were destined to win, and began the chapter of a new story, where there is always hope of resurrection in the here-and-now, and an ultimate resurrection in the "great by-and-by." Not only does this provide a great hope to my life, but it is the template for all the great stories I'll ever read or tell.
p.s., I think I'm supposed to tag five people... so... Jason, Blake, Ruth (Arkansas one,) Hannah, and Ric C.