Here’s some good news: Jesus lives in you. He is using you for His good in the world. God has placed you with your family and friends, neighbors and co-workers, in-laws and outlaws, frenemies and enemies, EGR’s (extra grace required), and your church family for a specific purpose: to love them as Jesus loves them.
With Election Day about a month away, I feel like it’s a good time to remind ourselves as Jesus followers not to trade big things for little things.
That’s what happened with the little boy, Narcissus. He started to look into a pool of water and fell in love with his reflection so much that he stared at it until the day he died. That is a real danger of falling in love with oneself. Or an issue. Or a policy. Or a candidate. Or anything other than Jesus.
Oh, how easy it is to trade big things for little things.
I recently read John 2. Jesus is heartbroken over people trading big things for little things. Like Narcissus, the temple people had fallen in love with themselves and everything that made them great. They traded Jesus’ big things - His grace, His love, His mercy, His life, for all the little things. It’s why they reacted with anger when Jesus said he would tear down the temple and rebuild it in three days. John makes it clear that Jesus is not talking about the building, but His body (v. 21). I once heard that if a crucified man comes back to life and lives forever to tell about it - then the game is over. At least, on this side of heaven.
Jesus is the rebuilt temple. Jesus places the stones back together as his body rises from the dead on Easter morning. So what happens today - a vaccination, an election, racial justice, world peace is not all that impressive or hope-filled - at least compared to Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.
So, if the world is torn apart by senseless violence, riots, terror, a virus, or an election gone mad - Jesus is still living in you and will use you to be His active presence and voice in this incredibly broken world. If America goes nuts over these next 32 days - there is no need to worry. You cannot compare anything that might happen on this side of heaven to Jesus’ death and resurrection - or yours. Never trade big things for little things.
You might be let down, betrayed, hurt, or ignored by those you love most over seemingly small, silly things. You can trust that Jesus has given you His Spirit to continue loving them well like Jesus already loves both you and them. Never trade big things for little things.
Jesus says in Luke 21:5-38, even if the sun, moon, and stars fall out of the sky: enjoy God’s light show because you know what comes next. It’s your resurrection. The Apostle Paul writes to Christians in Corinth, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit (like Jesus’ body was). He is now in you, whom you have received from God. You are not your own; you were bought at a price” (1 Corinthians 6:19). So, if you and I are temples (like Jesus), He will rebuild us. He will resurrect us, too.
Mud-slinging, in-fighting, and more tearing down than building up will most likely fill these next 32 days. That’s the nature of humanity when we look into the pool at ourselves. Remember that Jesus has chosen you. He loves you. He lives in you. God gives us life’s biggest thing: Jesus’ life, Himself. You and I no longer live, but Christ lives in us; who loves us and gave Himself for us (Galatians 2:20).
May your words reflect your Savior. May your thoughts reflect the temple of all temples, Jesus. And may you never trade Jesus’ big things for little things.
Meet Pastor Tim
Tim Bayer has served as Our Savior's Lead Pastor since September 2019. He also serves as an Adjunct Instructor at Concordia University - Irvine, a National Leadership Facilitator and Resource, and a Community Mental Health First Aid Instructor. Tim studied sociology, psychology, and theology prior to earning his M.Div at Concordia Seminary - St. Louis. He has also is a candidate for an Ed.D (ABD) in Transformational Leadership. He is married to Beth and they have three young children. Together, they enjoy exploring the outdoors, experiencing culture, and pizza and movie nights.