Writing Jesus and Me — The Why

Writing Jesus and Me — The Why

I’m taking a course – actually several on marketing and copywriting. I’m not so sure that’s a good idea – taking several courses on the same subject, with different teachers, at the same time. As the saying goes – one of these things is going to be shortchanged. I’ll spend more time with one than I will with the other. Maybe that’s true. Maybe not.

There’s a lot of agreement between the teachers. Know my why – the reason I wrote a book on the life of Jesus in the first place, and why it’s important to me. AND why I think it’s important for others to read it.

I remember saying that this site was going to discuss my journey. I hesitated in doing that because I was afraid you wouldn’t be interested. Or people would question my sincerity, or who do I think I am writing a book about Jesus.

I’m a sinner. I’ve made my mistakes. I have my own tragic flaw in my personality that I have to deal with, and just when I think I have that conquered, a new one appears and after a while the old challenge pops up unexpectedly.

Sometimes I’m not as patient as I’d like to be with people who want change, but continue to do the same thing that brings them grief. Then again, sometimes I do that too.

This isn’t going to be a confession site. My tragic flaw is my business and I doubt I’ll ever want to share it with you (but if you want to share yours, I’d be happy to listen).

The point is, if you’re wondering who I think I am to write this kind of a book, you have plenty of company. If you’re thinking of asking that question, you can get at the end of the line that starts with me, because I often wonder myself.

It’s something I struggle with all the time.

But isn’t there a flipside to that question? Couldn’t I ask you who do you think you are that you feel so free to look at my shortcomings and ask me that question?

I feel guilty enough, thank you. I was brought up Catholic, went to a Catholic school taught by nuns, and had an Irish mother. I’m a White man, an American, and on top of that I used to be a liberal, but couldn’t handle everybody else’s guilt, so I became a  conservative, and have to listen to why I should feel guilty about things that happened long before I was born or things I have nothing to do with.  Sometimes I feel like the poster boy for Innocence in a Guilty World.

But none of that has anything to do with what I’ll be talking about here.

I’m going to use this website to answer the questions and the concepts in the courses I’m taking – the homework they give me.

I’d love to get your feedback. What you think of what I say here. I’m open to your opinion – especially whether or not what I write here has some value to you or those you know personally.

The first assignment has 2 parts:

  • why did I write this story
  • why do I think it’s valuable for people to read it.

I’ve been avoiding answering the first question publicly because … well, it’s kind of embarrassing.

The ABOUT page on my blog, pretty much tells the story. I did teach a religion/catechism class at my local church. I wanted to change it from a bunch of questions to a discussion group kind of thing, so I asked my 7th graders, “If Jesus were alive today, and He was your age, would you want to be His friend? Would you hang out with Him? Would you go to His house for dinner? Would you invite Him to yours? Would you want Him as your best friend?

I was shocked when the kids said things like

  • “Who wants to hang out with someone who talks about picking up your cross all the time?”
  • “He was too sad.”

And all the other questions on the About Page.

Over the next few weeks, no matter what I did, that class kept returning to me. Their questions kept on coming back to me.

I couldn’t let it go. I looked at the pictures in the church, in my prayer books, and I listened more carefully to the sermons I heard from the priests, and ministers on TV and elsewhere.

I found myself understanding why the kids felt the way they did.

We talk about Jesus being friendly. There are plenty of times when He was invited to people’s homes for dinner. And there are jokes He said in the Gospels.

But in their desire to prove Jesus’s divinity, the religious turn these things into something serious and look for hidden meanings.

I remember a teacher who used to do outrageous things when he wanted kids to remember something he was teaching. One day (taking a routine he saw in a movie) he stepped into a waste basket and dragged it around the front of the room with him as he  repeated the concept he wanted them to learn. The kids remembered the funny routine, but they also remembered the concept.  Could Jesus have been doing the same thing when he talked about the eye of a needle? Maybe… maybe not.

More to the point, do you invite people to dinner, because you you’ll have a serious discussion with them, or because you enjoy their company?

Do you want to be near someone who constantly talks about being beaten up, tortured, having His skin ripped from His body, (for the fainthearted I’ll stop here), and being stripped naked in public while His loved ones watched Him die?

Or would you invite someone who was full of life? Someone who makes you feel good? Someone who would do anything, including looking foolish by stepping into a waste basket to make His point more memorable? Someone who convinced you He loved you so much, you couldn’t help but love Him back?

If you love someone, wouldn’t you die for them?

So here’s my answer to those 2 questions as an “elevator pitch” ( unlike the long-winded tome above, and elevator pitch is one or 2 sentences long – something that can be said in the time it takes an elevator to go up ONE floor).

I wrote this book so people, kids especially, would see themselves in Jesus, and how He loved us and life so much, we can’t help but want to love Him, and know Him better.

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