I’ve been thinking today about what life would look like if Jesus never lived. Rather than me rattling out a long list of the ways Jesus’ life, death and resurrection have impacted humanity, why don’t you ponder the question yourself for a little while? I mean once you start wondering about it, there’s so much in our life and thinking that would be completely different if Jesus never existed – as individuals and as a culture (even though some in our culture blindly want to throw out what they can of Jesus’ input into our worldview and value systems). I know the reality is that we wouldn’t be here at all if Jesus didn’t exist, but we’re trying to activate our imaginations here! It’s just that the story, the teaching, the example and the work of Jesus are all so woven in, we can take it for granted. Asking questions like ‘What if Jesus had never existed?’ is one way that I can try and get past all the debris in my head about Jesus, to be able to look at Him afresh.
That stack of images and ideas in our heads can sometimes blur our view of Jesus and even cause us to lose our sense of connection with Him – like in that old saying, “Familiarity breeds contempt”. It’s important to keep coming back to the source – reading the gospels as if we’ve never seen them before, allowing ourselves a fresh encounter with the one who was called Emmanuel – God with us. Maybe that could be something to do over the Christmas break? And of course, we can keep asking Jesus to clear away some of the rubble to give us a clearer view of Him and a deeper connection with Him.
Please Holy Spirit, open our hearts and minds to more of you…
If you’d prefer to have some more visuals with the song, I made an audio-visual version, with lots of these kind of art history images of Jesus, for a high school Scripture class. It is made with the studio version of the song, rather than the live recording. You can find that version here
May you know God’s grace and care for you this week.
Much love, Nerida
“And now, just as you received Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow Him. Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught and you will overflow with thankfulness.” (Col 2:6-7)