I was walking through our building this afternoon as our custodian was cleaning the hallway outside one of the entrances. Right next to the entrance is one of those pictures of Jesus. You know the ones. They look like it was a portrait commission by Christ himself, except not. Whenever I see these I always think, “Whose idea of Jesus is this?”
As I was walking through, our custodian was dusting the painting. I flipantly said, “Don’t forget to dust Jesus. You can’t forget to dust off Jesus.” But since I said it, I have been thinking. Many of us treat Christ like he is a painting or some piece of furniture. We walk by him every day. Honestly, most of the time we don’t even notice him. And then when we clean once a week, we dust him off and prepare for another week of ignoring him.
I was with 160 Junior High students at camp last week and honestly, many of them just dusted Jesus off for the week and when it was over they packed him in the suitcase and went home for another year lived on their own terms. Where do Junior High students learn this? They learn it each Sunday when they see their parents, grandparents, pastors, elders and others dusting off Jesus for the weekend service. They don’t see Jesus going with them into life lifting people up out of bad situations. They don’t see Jesus going with them loving the most unlovely people culture has to offer. They see Jesus hanging on a wall of a church wondering if this is what he died for.