As part of a new worship/sermon series at Song of Life – Building Blocks of Faith: Basic, but not simple – this blog post begins a conversation around the word (and name!) “Jesus.”
I have to confess that earlier in my faith life I had an aversion to the word/name “Jesus.” For whatever reason, whenever I heard His name used, I heard it in my head spoken by a southern television preacher, the overly charming, too-perfect kind I still get a queasy stomach about. I had caught glimpses of them on TV and elsewhere as a child, saying “Jesus this” and “Jesus that,” and it just felt… wrong.
In hindsight, I think part of that feeling of unease with Jesus’ name had more to do with my unease with what I perceived such television preachers to be advocating, a kind of hypocritical, feel-good faith that just didn’t correlate to my growing understanding of the world around me.
Regardless of how it developed, even in my early years as a leader with youth I seemed to prefer the name “Christ” over “Jesus.” Perhaps it was because it distinguished me from those other preachers and teachers who threw Jesus’ name around so often.
Over the years, I’ve shifted quite dramatically. Today, the name Jesus brings much more to mind than it initially did, and I am not as uneasy of speaking His name. But as we start this week, I want to pose the question to you all: What is your first, gut-level reaction, when you hear someone say “Jesus”?