Have you seen that Abby Wambach Gatorade commercial floating around? The one where she destroys the goalie for the other team because she’s drinking regular ol’ water instead of electrolyte-infused Gatorade? Apparently water isn’t good enough on its own, so Gatorade has manufactured water-plus.
Felt need. Reasonable logic. Quality marketing. I’ll buy.
I think we’re prone to hawk Jesus Plus as well. When I was a kid, it was:
Jesus + faithful church attendance (at least) 3 times per week.
Jesus + wearing Christian t-shirts.
Jesus + avoiding secular music. (I guess that’s really a minus).
Jesus + witnessing to at least 5 friends each week.
(Feel free to add to my list, there are plenty more).
And none of those things are necessarily bad (except the cheesy Christian t-shirts, can we all just agree?), in fact I’d say consistent church attendance is really good! But not one of those pluses are the source of God’s love or our reconciliation to Him.
Today, I see new pluses emerging.
Jesus + social justice.
Jesus + organic eating.
Jesus + driving a Prius.
Jesus + advocacy.
And once again, these things aren’t bad (except for driving a Prius, can we all just agree?), in fact I’d say justice is very dear to the heart of God! But not one of those pluses are the source of God’s love or our reconciliation to Him.
Grace is just too scandalous. Too illogical. Too one sided. We embrace it at the point of conversion, but surely it can’t be enough to sustain and fuel the transformation of our everyday lives. Can it?
Yesterday, Nathan and I met with a couple of new friends from an organization called One Hope. They help churches with their mission strategy. I enjoyed every moment we spent together, but it was a personal conversation that may have encouraged me the most. One of the guys attends Coral Ridge Church in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Pastor Tullian Tchividjian has just written a new book that is encouraging and challenging their congregation. It’s title?
“Tullian Tchividjian argues that what we are missing is the gospel—a fuller, more powerful understanding of Jesus and what his finished work means for everyday life.”
I plan on moving this to the top of my reading list.
Jesus will change your life. But he doesn’t just ask you for more, He is your more. What’s your Jesus plus?
Erik Cooper is Mandy's husband. Emma, Anna, & Austin's dad. Co-Pastor of City Community Church. Songwriter. Musician. Blogger. Church re-thinker. Coffee snob.
CC Image (Adapted) • Roby Ferrari on Flickr