Myth: Jesus requires us to be cleaned up, prettied up, and perfect prior to coming to Him.
Problem: Would someone please explain this to the church?
Sunday mornings are the worst day of the week. Trying to find dress shoes, church clothes then forcing kids to change out of one outfit to another usually means I have cursed about a bazillion times before entering church. But as long as kids and adults smell clean, dressed in perfectly ironed(well, fresh from the dryer) clothes, we pass the church inspectors(my church doesn’t really have clothing inspectors, but some of the older ladies certainly feel like this is their ministry).
Hardly, the beginnings of a worshipful experience. Sunday School doesn’t soothe my soul or make up for my wretched start to this day of rest. I’m still upset and seething from two kids whining about breakfast and clothes which hinders me from paying attention to the lesson. A large swarthy hunter green choir robe and an alto who sings off key standing next to me certainly don’t help me feel any more worshipful. At this point, I have my painted on happy-to-be-in-church face displayed for all to see.
That’s when I am confronted with Jesus.
Not the clean Jesus in white robes who I imagine smells of Old Spice and lilies of the valley, but the Jesus who allowed snotty nosed kids to climb in his lap. Dirty, loud filthy kids had priority over relatively, clean adults. I’m sure that even Jesus couldn’t escape all of the odors and oozing coming from those children. In fact, Jesus probably didn’t smell clean at all. He took on the smells and the dirt of the children. Intermingling with those who didn’t clean up, pretty up, or dress up to see Him. When He could have just allowed the disciples to shoo the children away, Jesus allowed the children to come just as they were–filthy, loving, and open.
And I wonder if Jesus looks down at my overly clean hands, neat clothes, smelling like butterfly flowers, wondering when I’m going to start smelling more like Him. Mixing up my fresh clean unapproachable smell with the work of loving those who aren’t clean or fresh or easily lovable—learning to smell like Jesus. When am I going to stop handing out Old Spice and perfume to those who need to be loved just as they are?
Fact: Jesus did not smell like Old Spice.
Question: What does your Jesus smell like?