If Jesus showed up at a party that you were attending and someone tried to “kidnap” him in broad daylight, by putting a possessive hand on his elbow and trying to steer him around the room while monopolizing his time and attention, we don’t have to wonder how he would handle that.
He’s not easily manipulated or controlled, this Jesus of ours. He never has been.
When he was a religious celebrity in Judea the religious leaders were always there wanting to tie him up in the sort of tricky theological discussions that they loved. He gave them brief answers that made them angry and that freed him up to spend time with real people.
When his disciples turned children away to prevent them making a claim on Jesus for blessings, Jesus had none of it. He rebuked the gatekeepers and made room for the children.
And when he came as a baby he demonstrated that he would not be the possession of Herod for violence, the possession of the magi for purposes of government, the possession of the shepherds for validation, or even the possession of his parents for progeny.
Be assured, dear friend, that Jesus has come for you. He does not belong to some group of special people. He doesn’t need to satisfy someone else’s demands before he can attend to your own private needs. He is for you and with you and no one else, however privileged he appears to be, can come between you and the Jesus who has sought you out.
Prayer: Help me to remember, Lord, that the self-appointed gatekeepers are no threat to my place in your heart or in your Kingdom. That’s hard for me because of my insecurities, I admit, but I believe that you can make me confident. And, while we’re at it, please forgive me for any time that I was a self-appointed gatekeeper myself and prevent me from ever doing that in the future.
Song: Part of the reason I love “O Christ, Draw Near” is because of Taylor Leonhardt’s vocals. But what I really love and appreciate are the earnest lyrics. I have been hugged so fiercely by someone I love so deeply that I have wished that the hug could succeed in squeezing the two of us into one inseparable unit. In Bethlehem, God initiated such an embrace and at Christmas we squeeze a little tighter in anticipation of that day when the work of the great hug will be complete.
Furnace Brook Wesleyan Church Blog