I have been reflecting recently on how we have to be so careful in Christian leadership about the view of God we present to others. If we are not careful we can unwittingly creating the impression of a distant or somehow mystical and ethereal God.
It is not often in the bold and big actions but through lots of little things. For example, using the sort of language that makes the spiritual seem grand and untouchable. Or perhaps making certain spiritual activities seem like they are only for an elite.
Surely these things look ridiculous when we view them in the light of Jesus. God in the flesh. His very goal being to demystify what God is like. A grounded – down to earth God.
“If you have seen me you have seen the Father”, were Jesus’s crystal clear words.
Religion puts up barriers between man and God. The cross destroyed them all. I never want to be guilty of rebuilding walls that Jesus tore down. Jesus’s harshest words were reserved for those who put up barriers for others to reach God. Be it little children or the outcast. Yet his heart was wide open, his hands eager to reach out and touch the unclean and abandoned.
His message appealed to the broken, the hurting and the messy.
But what about us? How do we avoid these trappings of grandeur and exclusivity?
Down to earth and vulnerable leadership would seem like a vital key here. Modelling an honest pursuit of God, warts and all. Talking about our failings and the times we tried to be clever and fell flat. Even simply making our faith as practical as possible. Lifting the words from a sacred holy book and sharing the everyday application in words that connect with our culture.
Also, perhaps simply connecting the reality of daily life on earth with the pursuit of the heavenly. If I had written this article last Friday perhaps it would be titled potty training and prophecy. Welcome to my real life. One minute leading a seminar on growing in our prophetic gifting and then the next wiping bottoms and talking about “pee pees”. I hasten to add this was not part of the seminar…
Jesus got himself involved in the life of community. I’m sure it was messy. The disciples walked with him closely. Ate with him, had small talk with him, relaxed with him. Yet they also did miracles with him. The mundane and the miraculous side by side. Not at odds with one another but perfectly at home.
I love to demystify things. Never in a desire to somehow make God seem less holy but to reveal that a holy God was never too proud or too distant to stoop down in the mud and pick up a child, and that was long before pampers…
Prepared to get messy, embracing the mundane, a down to earth God.