Father, lots of people posting lately about about Jesus-at-the-center.
And from what I read, I certainly don't think I have really been centered on You, Jesus (shocking statement, eh...).
I don't even know if the "church" I've experienced over all these years has been centered on You, either. I mean, really centered on You. I'm not even really sure what that really means, to be centered-on-You, Jesus. (How could I have missed that? How could we have missed that? Missed YOU like that, Jesus?)
Probably I've been centered on "church" itself quite a lot. (Not to mention, being centered on me, first/most of all). (And centered on theology and some stuff like that as well).
Okay, here's a really big problem for me. I'm struggling to know how to know YOU. You, Jesus. Especially, where You fit in with the whole God-thing (is that a heretical statement?). What I mean is this.
When I was a little kid, it was "Jesus loves me." Seemed pretty simple to me, and even happy and joyful and wonderful. Easy to accept, without even questioning. And even relational too.
But I got the impression pretty early on, maybe too early on, that that was way too simple. Too childish. That "mature" believers believed in "God (Our Father in Heaven...)." And obeyed Him, of course. And studied theology a lot. And tried to be good and do good and all, to please God. And were mostly really serious folk who avoided being too happy and childish. (It didn't help that by my early teens I was having relationship problems with my earthly father, and therefore was skittish of any Heavenly-Father-relationship that You sometimes tried to introduce...).
And then, along the line, You bumped me into the Pentecostals. And I discovered that the Holy Spirit is a Person (more than just a theological concept, you know). I mean, that He's You, too. And that maybe, after all, it's okay to be happy and joyful. (Carefully, in my case. Because I was still trying to be mature and all). Yes, maybe it's even okay, even good, to be relational with You (kind of cautiously, in my case, but still. Relationship. Through the Holy Spirit, mostly. Big step!).
And then, quite recently, You sent along a book. A LOT of people have told me that book is heretical; I have even pretty much lost a good friend or two over it, sad to say, because of my being so sure You sent it along to me. I am sure, though, because through it, finally I met You, FATHER. I mean, as more than God (Heavenly Father). And I got a lot more comfortable with Your Holy Spirit (getting comfortable with You, less cautious, that was a big step too). And You, Jesus, You seemed a lot more REAL to me (but... see next paragraph!). And overall, I found out You - as a group, as God, but individually as well - really do love me. I experienced joy. Happiness. Relationship. Relationship! With You, Father. And with Your family, too, because that does come with You.
But I've struggled with relationship with You, Jesus. I mean, I believe in it, right? I believe in You, right? I've even experienced relationship with You, for sure. But what's this about You at the center? Like the blog post-ers are talking about? I mean, You are THE WAY, of course. But are You the destination as well? Is "Jesus loves me" okay after all? Maybe way more than okay? (And then, what about Father and Holy Spirit? The book shows You so clearly as individuals, and yet as One. Why is it so hard for me to understand? And what does it really mean to say that You are the center of the church, Jesus? And how does that fit it - or does it - with Your place in/as God? And in my relationship with You (each, and all)?
Is there something wrong with me? Do real Christians actually have these kinds of questions? Are we even allowed to wonder? And struggle? And not understand everything? (And, worst of all, admit it?) Or am I way off line?
Father? Jesus? Holy Spirit?
(or anyone out there who'd like to try to answer?)