Shane Claiborne in his book The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical tells the story of his conversion to becoming a Christ follower. Shane grew up in East Tennessee near the buckle of the Bible belt. Like most teenagers he attended his Methodist youth group playing the games, checking out the girls, singing the songs, and enduring the Bible studies. Simply put, Shane by his own testimony was simply going through the motions.
Unexpectedly Jesus showed up in Shane’s life through the influence of a couple of high school friends who were sold out to Jesus. As he attended church with them the words of Jesus came alive in his heart. In Shane’s own words he wrote:
“Then I met Jesus and he wrecked my life. The more I read the gospel, the more it messed me up, turning everything I believed in, valued, and hoped for upside down. I am still recovering from my conversion.”
Shane moved from the “boring” life of religion to the “daring” life of being a fully devoted follower of Jesus. He began to take the Words of Jesus seriously. Shane took the radical step of actually believing Jesus really meant what He said. Like Mark Twain said, “It’s not the parts of the Bible I don’t understand that scare me, but the parts I do understand.”
I am afraid in our attempts to be culturally relevant and non-offensive we have domesticated Jesus, the radical who was crucified because He defied the powers and the values of this world. We have turned Jesus into the “Mr. Rogers” of my childhood complete with his sweater, tennis shoes, and “howdy neighbor.” Don’t get me wrong Jesus defines what love looks like, but love is much stronger and bolder than you would ever imagine.
It’s my prayer Jesus will “wreck” your life and my life and transform us into His image.
If this is your prayer take up your cross today and fall in line behind Jesus.