Jesus and Emotion

Good morning. It is Wednesday, February 5, 2014. Only ten more days until Red Sox pitchers and catchers report. Some of the players are already there, I hear. Truck Day is this Saturday, the 8th. Opening Day is March 31, 54 days away.

Are you ready for some baseball?

Today is National Weatherman’s Day. So should we thank the people that are wrong as much as they are right? In all fairness, the weather reporters have a tough job. Weather, while indeed predictable, is unreliable, at best. And fickle. Weather is fickle. So give it up for the weatherman, who is mostly guessing at his job.

Christi has an interview today with a consulting firm. They have a PM job (that’s “Program Manager”) that is a “contract-to-hire” job that she will be interviewing for. This job would be in Irving, which is not bad. She’s worked in Irving before. It’s good that she’s already getting some activity. That is certainly helping her state of mind.

I get my car back today. Did I write in here what happened? I can’t remember. Looks like I didn’t. What happened was this: I took the car to the dealer where we got it, for an oil change. We got a year’s worth of free oil changes when we bought the car, so certainly, I’m going to take the car back there. I was sitting in the waiting room when the lady working the service counter came in and got me. She was apologizing before we got out the door. It seems that a “technician,” while backing up in another car, backed in the the rear bumper of ours. It wasn’t horrible, but it scraped some paint off the bumper, and didn’t affect anything else. She must have apologized about a dozen times. They replaced the bumper and painted it. She also said they would even take care of the ticket for that day, which included a $20 tire rotation that I had told them to go ahead and do. They gave me a loaner, which was almost exactly like mine. I think she was most grateful that I didn’t come unglued at the whole thing. I basically shrugged and said, “Hey, stuff happens.” She thanked me at least four times for being so understanding and patient. Mostly, I feel sorry for that technician. I seriously prayed on the way home that he didn’t lose his job over that.


(From The Divine Hours)

For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.
O LORD of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you!
Psalm 84:11-12
I rise before dawn and cry for help; I hope in your words. Psalm 119:147
But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
Psalm 13:5
The heavens are yours; the earth also is yours;
the world and all that is in it, you have founded them.
Psalm 89:11

Glory be to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. As it was in
the beginning, so it is now and so it shall ever be, world without end. Alleluia. Amen.
(The Gloria)

“Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought me in safety to this new day:
Preserve me with your mighty power, that I may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity;
and in all I do direct me to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.”

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God;
and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
1 John 3:1

“Godliness comes from thinking the way God does.” (In Touch magazine)

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any
excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Philippians 4:8

Today’s reading in Reflections for Ragamuffins is “Jesus’ Feelings.”

Have we manipulated our image of Jesus so much that we no longer have a clue who he really was? He was “a man in a way that we have forgotten men can be: truthful, blunt, emotional, nonmanipulative, sensitive, compassionate–his inner child so liberated that he did not feel it unmanly to cry.” Jesus met people right where they were, yet refused to compromise on integrity.

The Gospels give us a picture of the “beloved Child of Abba” that is “a man exquisitely attuned to his emotions and inhibited in expressing them.” He did not “reject feelings as fickle and unreliable.” I believe we would do well to hone in on this characteristic of Jesus. When I was in seminary, it was very popular to scoff at even the word “feelings.” Emotionalism in worship was frowned upon. Yet we have a Savior who wept and laughed (I do realize that we have no Biblical reference to show him laughing, but I cannot help but believe that he laughed with his disciples); who cared deeply enough about people to even put his hands on a leper! One time, he even wept over an entire city!

And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it. . . Luke 19:41

Let us not reject our feelings and emotions. Rather, let us use them like Jesus did, not allowing them to control us, but allowing them to be a kind of barometer of things around us. It’s okay to weep over people and their sorrow. We’ve had much death and sorrow in our church over the past weeks, and just last night, I learned that a good friend of our pastor (and I know this person) is struggling with depression, eating disorder, and has suicidal thoughts. It broke my heart. I’ve never struggled with showing emotion, though. I’m a musician, it comes with the territory. But if we have the mind of Christ in us, then we also have his heart, his emotions. And it’s okay to allow those to surface.

Father, I pray that you always keep me an emotional person. But I also pray that my emotions never be allowed to control me. I fell into that trap yesterday. I was in a pretty bad mood most of the evening, but you drew me out of that, with the help of my church family at our Huddle meeting last night. This is one reason that I went ahead and went to the meeting, even though I didn’t “feel” like it. I pray that the love of Christ will always flow out of me, from his heart to mine. Keep me compassionate about people, because that’s one thing I need in order to be an effective intercessor.

I pray for this day today. Keep Christi and me safe as we travel about today. I pray for her interview today, that it will go well. The potential job seems to be in a place where many of her past co-workers are working. This would be excellent for her! But you will be done, Father. Your will be done. I pray for a smooth work day for me today. Help me to develop more of an “out” relationship (this is a Huddle reference, I don’t expect outsiders to understand), Father, as I go about my day. I pray that you draw Stephanie closer to you today, Father. Give her understanding.

I pray for this young lady who will be going into rehab next Monday. Father, give her strength and courage to do what she has to do for the rest of this week. Make her strong, and then bring her out on the other side, healed and whole.

Your grace is sufficient.

Don’t be afraid to allow emotion to surface. Don’t try to repress it. In the same way, don’t let it control you, either.

Grace and peace, friends.