What a summer it has been around the Quad Cities. The flood waters have finally receded to normal levels, gardens and farms are growing, the heat has settled in to stay. The summer feels like it’s moving fast. As I talk to people around our church, it is “busy-season” for many of you. I am amazed at the places you all find yourselves over the summer. Lutherans are on the move! That is why I am so excited to get the Flat Jesus pictures.
Earlier this summer, each congregation received their own “Flat Jesus”, a small paper cartoon of Christ. Flat Jesus has been to Massachusetts, Georgia, New York, Wisconsin and Michigan so far. Flat Jesus has also been to several places around the Quad Cities, including the River Bend Food Bank and the “Race for the Cure” event. Flat Jesus is a little playful, a little silly, but then again, I think maybe the real Jesus was a little playful, a little silly at times. Ultimately, we take the Flat Jesus cartoon with us as a reminder.
Flat Jesus reminds us that wherever we go, Jesus goes with us. Jesus goes with us when we go to glamourous places, Jesus goes with us when we go to boring places, and Jesus goes with us when we go to painful places. Jesus simply goes with us. The incarnation, when Jesus came to earth, is proof that God goes with us. God wants to be with us so much, that God came as a human in a manger.
Flat Jesus reminds us that wherever we go, the church goes with us. We are a part of a holy community, the church. At its best, the church is the hands and feet of God on earth. We are called to announce God’s love to the world around us, and we experience it with other people. Every Sunday morning, we practice making God’s ways our ways. We sing praise, we pray together, we hear the word of God, we spread peace, and we are fed at the table. Then we are sent out to do all those things in all the other parts of our lives. Flat Jesus is a reminder that we are not alone, we are united with the rest of the church on earth.
Flat Jesus reminds us that our faith is a constant journey. Jesus did some of his most significant ministry on his journey towards Jerusalem. In our faith life, the “going” is just as important as the “arriving”. We are constantly on a journey towards God’s justice and love. We are on the journey to enact God’s will for this whole very world. We are called to see who else is on the journey with us. Don’t forget to look around.
That’s not too bad for something that is a little silly and a little playful. So, keep taking Flat Jesus, know that Jesus is with you on the journey.