We had a bit of fun in the office last week. My boss, Pastor John, was due back from long leave so we built a Pastor John 2.0v for some photo ops. Version 2 was a great listener, but after a while you got the feeling he had just zoned out on you. Also his advice wasn’t great. You see an imitation is never as good as the real thing.
You may have heard a song by Tom Waits called Chocolate Jesus – part of the lyrics goes like this:
When the weather gets rough
And it’s whiskey in the shade
It’s best to wrap your savior
Up in cellophane
He flows like the big muddy
But that’s ok
Pour him over ice cream
For a nice parfait
It is a cheeky song, but it has some truth to it. Sometimes we make our own version of God – perhaps because we want to feel him close, or perhaps because we like our ears to be tickled. But if we don’t take the fullness of Him as seen in the Bible we end up with a chocolate Jesus – useless in bad weather. We cannot use the Bible as a pick’n’mix – we have to accept the responsibilities as well as the blessings.
Romans 8:17-18 Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. 18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
We have to weather the tough times so that we can see the glory times. So as we approach Easter with all the chocolate bunnies and eggs I ask myself have I settled for a chocolate Jesus rather than the real thing.