I’m Man, Y’all … August 3, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog


 big herculesThe Greeks had a problem.

It wasn’t just because their country was named Greece and sounded oily and fattening. No, they had a religion with many gods perched on Mt. Olympus, who sat around eating and drinking all day and had no connection with the mortals beneath.

So they needed an emissary. Yes, they needed the gods to come down and mate with humans, creating fantastic heroes who were divinely inspired but humanly flawed.

Thus, Hercules.

He solved their theological difficulty–because the truth is, God works as a concept but not very well as a plan of action.

When you try to apply eternity, divinity, supernatural powers and universal concerns into the small cranial space available in the human body, we become more baffled than inspired.

We’re human. We understand human things. When we try to comprehend heavenly things, we tend to become more bizarre than blessed.

That’s the power of Jesus. Jesus is our Hercules. But unlike Hercules, he didn’t cheat by bringing any of the divine attributes into his lifespan. He was tempted like we are, he was human like we are and he was completely at the mercy of learning obedience through the things he suffered.Immaneul Lutheran

As I head off tonight to Immanuel Lutheran in Suttons Bay, Michigan, I am struck by that word in the title of their name–Immanuel.

I’m man, y’all.

It means that God is with us–but not just with us. God is IN us. That’s why Jesus told us that the Kingdom of God is within.

And also, God becomes us. Yes, without us using our human experience to manifest the message of the immortal, it becomes a fairy tale instead of a well-delivered book report.

Jesus was energized by the Spirit and worked with others. That’s what I need to be, too. That’s what I’m going to tell them at Immanuel Lutheran Church–that we need to be humans energized by great spirit, daring to work with others.

  • Some people want to make Jesus Jewish.
  • Some people want to make him a trouble-maker, an enemy of Rome.
  • There is certainly a contingency that would insist he was a hippie.
  • How about a Republican or a Democrat?
  • A conservative or a liberal?

Most people find their pet project and hope that Jesus will write them a letter of recommendation. Jesus was much simpler than that. Jesus was a human being who found the spirit of God inside himself, and once he learned to recognize it, he made it his mission to seek it out in others.

We could use more of that.

I come to Northern Michigan neither as divine nor merely human. Spirit and experience have given me a message and my body has established my limitations. I am humbled and energized simultaneously.

I’m man, y’all.

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Published in: on August 3, 2013 at 1:22 pm  Leave a Comment  
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