“Jesus” (pt. 1)

As part of a new worship/sermon series at Song of LifeBuilding Blocks of Faith: Basic, but not simple – this blog post begins a conversation around the word (and name!) “Jesus.”

Jesus, spelled out in wooden blocksI 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”?

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2 responses to ““Jesus” (pt. 1)

  1. Lorraine Ebright

    I grew up hearing about Jesus Christ being referred to (in my Christian home) only as “the Lord”. The name “Jesus Christ” was THE title for Him-and the name “Jesus” alone-only for children…or too chummy for me to use. In my most private thoughts- I called Him, “Lord Jesus”. Now, I think of Him, talk to Him, as “Jesus”-and that seems personal and intimate…truly a first name basis intimacy. I’m not sure I use that name “Jesus” in public as much as “Jesus Christ” but in my heart he is Jesus.

  2. Hi, Lorraine: I agree that “Jesus” is more personal and intimate, and I wonder if that intimacy is partly what discouraged me, early in my faith life, from using His name (personally or publicly). We’re generally a bit shy about intimacy, and perhaps all the more so when thinking about God! I’m grateful that over time, however, I’ve come to a point where I can talk with Jesus. (In fact, I’m reminded that one of Lynn’s favorite “old” hymns is entitled, “Just a Little Talk With Jesus!”)

    Thanks for the visit & comment! 😉

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