The phrase, “at Vista we are determined to live at the intersection of Jesus and real life” slipped into my comments during the Christmas Services this past December. Mostly unscripted during those monologues, I have a general idea of what we want to say to express our values and to transition the program, but that phrase was a surprise even to me when it emerged – it came out of the clear blue. I hadn’t used that phrase during the Saturday evening service – it showed up Sunday morning. The resulting feedback on it has been crazy. Person after person has said something to the effect of, “That’s it! That’s what we are about. That’s what you keep asking us to do. That’s where we’re trying to live! We have to keep that idea alive!” Apparently God sent the phrase – because it sure struck Vista at the heart. It really seems to capture something true about us. But what’s it mean?
Well, it carries a sentiment Jesus communicated quite often. Statements like, “…and the Truth will set you free.” And, “…true worshippers will worship in spirit and in truth.” In the account of Jesus’ talk with the half-Jew woman at the water well, He calls her out to be honest about her life. He did that a lot. Jesus didn’t allow the accomplishments, avoidances or the accoutrements of ones life to varnish the truth – He always got to the raw wood.
If you dealt with Jesus, you ended up facing your reality – and He typically only carried on with the conversation if you owned up to it. Remember the rich young ruler who wanted what Jesus offered? Jesus narrowed in on the young man’s worldly identity as a rich ruler and essentially said, “When you can walk away from your wealth, you can have what I offer.” Not ready, the man walked away. What Jesus offers is like nothing the world comes close to offering – is like nothing any other person can offer. But critical to receiving Him is that you can stand back from yourself and accept reality, no matter the degree of vulnerability or humility it requires.
Do we really expect anything less from the perfect man – the Son of God? Dealing with truth is what makes the best counselors and leaders and commentators – they don’t mess around with falsehood. Why would Jesus deal with me or you at a standard less than a popular coach or counselor??
When asked the elements of a successful business, one infamous CEO replied, “Brutal honesty about the current reality.” Remember Jack Nicolson A Few Good Men? “You can’t handle the truth!” Yeah, we can’t. That’s why we don’t live in it much. That’s another great thing about Jesus – not only does He require the truth, He’s the One that can offer life in the midst of it. Try accepting Jesus’ invitation to reality, and really live.