Jesus Wants the Rose

Talking with a friend recently about the discussions of sexuality we heard growing up in church, I was reminded of one of the worst: the Coke fizz. You see, if you open the top of a Coke, eventually all the fizz will leave. Apparently, in your average evangelical youth group, having sex is like opening the top of the Coke-you use up all your fizz. You don’t want to give someone a flat Coke, do ya’? So don’t have sex until you’re married. Let’s walk the aisle and have a prayer!

Contrast that message with this:

Notice the difference there? It’s Jesus. One sermon is about us-how we can be better people (whatever the hell that means) by avoiding sex. The other is about Jesus, and how He loves sinners.

Because this is the truth: Jesus wants sinners. He delights in bringing sinners to Himself. He doesn’t begrudgingly accept them, like some exhausted welfare case worker wearily admitting one more person to the rolls. He sought out, pursued, and rescued us because He wants us. He knows our problems, expects them, and accepts us. Whatever shape the sins we’ve committed have taken, however long the list is, Jesus wants us.

Because of this, we should want us. We should want each other. We as the community of God’s people should look at each other’s histories and instead of bemoaning failures, rejoice in redemption.

So let’s stop this idolatry of sin-this incessant labeling and stereotyping of those who have committed some action we’ve so far managed to avoid. Let’s be Gospel people, and let’s speak the Gospel to each other. We need this, because those of us who are merely theoretical sinners will have a merely theoretical Savior. So let’s admit we’re real sinners, so God can bless us with a real Jesus. And having done that, God can bless us with real community.

This is  the duty and the joy of Christian community: to say to one another, “I see your dirt, your sin, your ugliness. Jesus sees it too, BUT because of the Cross He delights in you, and so do I. You and your story are beautiful, because Jesus makes beauty out of brokenness.” There is such grace in hearing someone say this. Let us be people wrapped around grace.

Grace and Peace to all who trust Jesus.

    • hannah
    • February 17th, 2010

    the biggest/hardest thing here is – “because of this, we should want us”. To forgive ourselves for our shortcomings. To forgive others who told us about them. To see ourselves like He sees us and to live a life out of that, what a beautiful and powerful thing that would be. Forget trying to get ppl saved- forget trying to be perfect- just live knowing how much he loves you and you would never meet someone that wouldn’t experience God’s love through u. “Oh how He loves us- oh how He loves us”

    • Doug
    • February 17th, 2010

    Hannah-exactly. That’s the core of the Gospel you’re getting right there-letting Jesus love you. Once that happens, people can’t help but experience Him as they experience you.

    And they do 😉

  1. Speaking of sin, Jesus had more to say about what we do with our wallets than what we do with our bodies.

    Just saying.

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