God in a Box

Do you prefer Jesus to be radical or comfortable?  The Jesus we encounter in the gospels is one who really challenges the status quo.  Folks who were a part of the religious establishment had real issues with Jesus.  When one considers the entire witness of the scriptures, one must conclude that often encountering God disrupts the status quo.  The God present in the scriptures leads us into uncharted territory; He calls us to adventure.  One of Jesus’ most consistent commands is not, “Don’t doubt,” but “Fear not.”  The implication is that when we really hear God, fear might be a natural response.



Several weeks ago I ran across a graphic on the Internet that showed how the cross could make a box.  (See graphic)  It occurred to me that this is an incredible irony.  The cross was really an instrument of death and torture.  Today it has become a symbol of hope and forgiveness.  If we turn the cross into a box, we undermine what the cross was originally all about. The cross says God is breaking out of the boxes we try to put Him in!

Sometimes I get a little uncomfortable with the images popular today of Jesus being our best friend.  While there is truth to those images, the predominant image of Jesus in all four gospels is one who resolutely heads into a situation of suffering to accomplish the goal of securing our forgiveness.  The scriptures also paint a picture that suggests when we get comfortable with God; it may mean that we have begun missing what God wants us to do in our lives.

Why pursue a faith that makes us uncomfortable?  This faith connects us to God, himself.  This faith exposes one to the true meaning of being God’s child.   This faith exposes us to truth.  Truth may make us uncomfortable.  It may take us out of our boxes, but in the end why should we waste our time following a comfortable lie?  I want to follow God even when I find my boxes being blown up and my life scares me a little.  How about you?

russ-signature copy



{This blog originally appeared in The Naples News on Saturday, April 6, 2013 as “ Getting Comfortable With God”}


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s