“For years I had professed an adoration for Jesus Christ, but in my poor state, on that night, I knew it was more habit than a relationship, more culture than worship, more clan than companionship. And I was undone. I wanted to have a real come-to-Jesus. I wanted the experience to be as genuine as possible.”
This place. How often I come here. Desperate for something to happen.
It seems as though it happens to everyone else most easily, those miracles, signs, wonders, and all things “Whoa… Jesus.” I consider, “Is their faith greater than mine? Does God love them more than me?” Especially here in my semi-circle, here among mighty spiritual giants who write poetic and fragrant snippets about the Son of Man that bring me to my knees and grip my soul, leaving me begging, “feed me.”
It is best described in these words, we who covet need to know Jesus and be known — it is as if I pulled my chair up to a table that I wasn’t invited. And no, this is not a sob story. The revelation of relationship is often left to the comparison, which only leaves us feeling fulsome or vacant. “At least I am not like her!” or “If only…”
So here I am again, wondering how to make Jesus more Jesus. Increase my faith, love, peace, hope, happiness, and belief, but not my self-control until January. The season is erupting with lights, fancy, and wonder. Every child’s eye lights and the air is alive with the bouquet of gingerbread, pine, cocoa, chestnuts, and money. Oh, goodness, there it is too. The distractability of things that brings my head from the mystical dream of sugar plums and face plants in reality.
How then can I be both – a spiritual wonder woman and a frugal and conscious consumer, all the while creating the “perfect Christmas” for those I love? The queries I create, the continuing investigation of my own belly button, and the journal entries of how to make this season the brightest, alas, this is my folly. This is the method that creates the madness. This is my own demise, but for Jesus.
Yes, let Jesus be Jesus.
Here is where I find my comfort.
I couldn’t, He did.
I can’t, He will.
Tis’ the season of tradition and what it should be, in my whimsy, and still He came to bring me life, joy, and peace abundant. The formulas to make those things happen is the same as the recipe for making apples. Wait, what?
You read that right.
Here is how to make the season jolly and bright, here is the formula to create the fruit of the spirit and the freedom I crave: Jesus. Not the study of, not the forced adventures, fraudulent prose, not the mistletoe. The whole truth of Christ the Lord.
When I am weak, He is strong.
When I am nothing, He is everything.
An apple tree doesn’t try to produce apples; it just does.
I pray, “Jesus be Jesus.”
Fit Him not inside a tiny shiny box.
Stuff Him not in the toe of a stocking or beneath the tree.
Set Him free from the confines of this human mind and unleash every pretense, unbelief, and wayward political or religious certainty about this Man-God who came, a tiny babe, to set captives free.
Let Jesus be Jesus. Romance waits, a true Love, like no other.
And all the angels sing, “Hallelujah, King of Kings.”
Jami Amerine is the author of the popular blog Sacred Ground, Sticky Floors, where she posts about Jesus, parenting, marriage, and the general chaos of life. She holds a master’s degree in Education, Counseling, and Human Development. Jami and her husband, Justin, have six kids and are active in foster care. Stolen Jesus: An Unconventional Search for the Real Savior is her first book.