I joined a Bible study at my sister-in-laws church because the nice elderly population at my church decided the book of Judges would be their Bible study of choice this time. Ugh.
It's titled Seamless and it was written by Angie Smith.
Now I've seen Angie Smith speak in person before.
It was 6 years ago at a Women of Faith conference and she was goooood.
She spoke from the heart, and as she told her story she cried; with the telling of one particular part of her story she made the entire convention center burst into tears.
I saw her again a few years later, watching from my laptop during a Live Podcast of the IF Gathering.
She cried when she spoke that time too, only it wasn't because of the story she was telling.
She cried because she didn't feel like she was enough.
She didn't feel like she was enough in the eyes of Christ. She felt less than, not worthy to be standing at that podium speaking to a group of women, and she bawled the entire way through it.
Ok. So. Here's my take on this.
She gets paid to do this gig. She gets paid to travel around the country and speak to women of faith, in packed convention centers and sold out arenas. She tells her story, she cries her way through it and I'm not sure, but I believe there may be a little bit of a marketing ploy here...she sells her books, of which there are 7 to date.
So I'm thinking to myself that she has found an angle, right?
Get 'em crying, get 'em hooked and BAM!
You can buy Angie's book after the show, and she will tell you how to become beloved by God.
So... back to my story about this Bible study.
I have a dark sense of humor. I am a tad bit snarky. I use caustic words and I am abrasive in nature when I am in a situation where I am uncertain as to what to do or say and then I disguise my mean behaviour behind a joking manner.
All true statements right there.
But the funny thing is I don't consider myself a sinner when I do those things.
(And perhaps THAT is my sin.)
Last Thursday at this Seamless Bible study, the leader spoke about herself being a sinner and not being good enough for God and she had to remind herself daily that Christ crucified Himself on that cross for her, so her sin could be forgiven. And she knew she could never measure up for that. And she cried.
Blech. What a bunch of dreck.
Forgive me and my snarky nature but what a bunch of whoo-ha.
My brain started to sizzle and I reached under the table and pinched my sister-in-law on the thigh.
Listen...as a Christian woman, let me say this...
I AM AWARE THAT JESUS CHRIST CRUCIFIED HISSELF ON THAT CROSS FOR ME, FOR YOU, FOR US.
But I don't focus on that. I choose NOT to focus on that. Because Jesus is so much more than that.
I believe in the Jesus of Mercy, Grace and Light. I believe in the Jesus who has a sense of humor. I believe in the compassionate Jesus who forgives us all, all of the time. I will even be honest enough to admit that sometimes I believe in the Parking Lot Jesus. You know who that is, right? Two sick kids in the car and it is raining and it is the dark of night and someone has a fever and you need Tylenol and lo and behold, Jesus has saved us a parking spot right next to the in door of the drug store. Thank YOU Jesus!
I believe in the Jesus who is one with God and shows us beauty in unexpected places.
I believe in the Jesus of sunrises and laughter and nature and ocean waves that speak His name.
Our table leader named Chris said to us that she too believes that she is a sinner that can never measure up to what Jesus did for her. She said she loves Jesus with her whole heart and wants to learn more about him and that she loves to be immersed in "The Word", that Jesus speaks to her and He resonates with her when she is immersed in "The Word."
I read the Bible, a few verses a day, as directed by my daily devotionals. It is enough for me at this moment in time. I have no issue with Chris immersing herself in "The Word" as she sees fit.
My point here is that for me Jesus can be found everywhere and not just specifically in the written words of the Bible.
I don't believe that I need to immerse myself in His word in order to see Him or know Him.
I sent my sister-in-law a text and asked her to help me not make rude noises (such as pffftt, or tsk) or to roll my eyes at next weeks Bible study when another woman stands up and professes to be an undeserving bad girl sinner that Christ climbed up and crucified hisself for.
Do You feel bad? Do You feel a constant need to remind Yourself of His sacrifice?
Is that what being a good christian is all about? Focusing on the bad and not the good?
Cuz the thing is...I don't feel like a bad girl, like I don't matter to Jesus or that my sin is so great that he could never love a sinner like me.
I heard a song called Fields of Grace and I was looking for the lyrics on Google when I came across this-
Be still, and know that I am God Ps 46:10
I will enter his gates with thanksgiving in my heart (Ps 100:4)