Milk chocolate. White chocolate. Dark chocolate. And then there is that other chocolate. You know what I am talking about. The gross tasting chocolate that is usually dyed in Easter colors and the shapes are in the form of Easter bunnies, Easter eggs, and sometimes….the Cross.
I have never had a chocolate Jesus……..either Christmas themed or Easter. I'm not opposed to eating a chocolate Jesus. But it would make creep me out if I was eating a baby Jesus at Christmas time.
Hollow and solid = two types of chocolate.
Hollow = "having a hole or empty space inside".
Solid = "having no space inside; not hollow"
(According to Websters' Dictionary).
We sometimes have a hollow Jesus. We make him nice, brush his hair like Barbie, and whiten his teeth. Then we send him out to fix our problems and make the world a happy place. Although Hollow Jesus doesn't accomplish much in our lives. I'll bet he takes a flawless selfie.
Hollow Jesus looks great on the outside but has nothing on the inside. Nothing. This sounds similar to the faith that a lot of us are living out today. We have it all together or so it appears. Our kids go to the right schools. Our churches have the best building in town. And we have all of the right answers.
Hollow Jesus = the mask of Christianity. Our hollow faith offers Sunday School answers to people dying for authentic redemption. Be a good person. Don't have questions about your faith. And look good. Because Jesus is only concerned about your Sunday dress and punching the church attendance time clock. The people who consume Hollow Jesus are only concerned with the outer life. They might look like they have it all together but in reality----their faith is built on sand. They attend church out of obligation.
We don't need a Hollow Jesus. Or a Hollow Faith. Because it's merely concerned with image. The Church does have an image problem. Too much of us and less about God.
We need Solid Jesus and a Solid Faith.
A Solid Jesus/Faith will stand up for what is right…...at work….at church…..at home...and in the community. No, I am not advocating that we Bible thump everyone into believing what we believe. But we do need to do the right thing. And it will not be popular. People will disagree with you. They may even hate you. A Solid Faith is not about increasing your church attendance or bragging to your Evangelical friends about how many people you “got saved” this week. Because you did not save anyone. That is God’s doing. You were a tool in the disciple building process.
For us to have a Solid Jesus, we have to address several things:
1. None of us are perfect----Whether we are baptized, non-baptized, church members forever, cradle Christians, own a pew at church, or we work at a church----NONE of us are perfect. We have all fallen short of the glory of God. God can make us whole. It is a process; however, we are never done growing. The minute we think we have it all together; is the moment the Devil laughs and brings some sort of hell to our life.
2. There is no perfect church----Let’s just face it. Every church has its issues. Your church might be cute on the outside but the ministries of the church have not impacted a single soul in years on the inside. Maybe you think your church’s theology is flawless. Doubtful. Here is why. The doctrines and methods established by our churches were established by humans. We screw up. I am not saying all churches are evil. But where there are humans…..there is reality. We need Jesus.
3. Get involved somewhere. I know alot of folks reading this blog have been burnt by the Church. Please remember that you were burnt by PEOPLE---not God himself. We need you involved somewhere. Joining a ministry or getting fed spiritually somewhere is a good start. Find a church that preaches the Gospel (Jesus) and not just somewhere that is comfortable. And when the time is right, be open to volunteering your time. Everyone has something to offer. Think of someone who practiced what they preached to you. Don’t you want to return that favor to someone else? There is great freedom restored to your soul when you are helping others receive freedom.
4. Remember the Resurrection. Easter is about Jesus conquering death and rising from the grave us he conquered sin. He overcame death to bring life. He invites us to live resurrected. What does a resurrected life look like? It is a life of surrender: knowing we don’t have all of the answers, asking questions about how faith intertwines with life, and connecting our heart and mind. Connecting the heart and mind is key to having a faith that makes a lasting impact on yourself and others.