EarthBasic. Take care. Bless many.
From my childhood days my parents fostered within me love for God and love for people. Every Sunday morning, they woke me to have family devotions, followed by attending Catholic Mass at 6:00 am and service at the Methodist Church at 8:00 am, and Sunday School at the Brethren Church at 3:00 pm. Lots of exposure, and yet Jesus was just another person to me-a cool guy. I did all these things because my parents wanted me to.
Jesus: More than Just a Cool Guy
Jesus Christ became real to me, one summer during Vacation Bible School, when my teacher told the story of Jesus’ crucifixion. My heart bled for this man who had done nothing wrong and yet was treated so badly. He said that Jesus was beaten, forced to carry a heavy cross, and that some men caused blood to run from His head as they mockingly placed a crown of thorns upon it. He said that they spat in His face, pierced Him in His side and gave Him vinegar to drink. I was mortified! Anger rose within me and I began to cry for this man, whom I realized endured all this suffering and disgrace for my sins. Jesus was no longer just an idea of a person. In my mind, He became real. His life, suffering and death came to have an impact on my lived experience and it moved me to ask, “Lord, since you have done all these things for me, what can I do for you in return?”
Jesus: The One Who Calls
That very year I was confirmed in the Methodist Church and became very involved in the life of the church. Sixteen years after, what I called my “conversion experience”, I was encouraged by friends and spiritual leaders to offer myself as an ordained minister. I didn’t believe that I was “ministerial material” and said no. But, as time passed, this very real Jesus kept calling.
Then, one day a friend shared with the witness of a lady she had met in the hospital. This woman had been incapacitated due to a severe car accident, and while in hospital had had time to reflect on her success in numbering her days. At the conclusion of her reflection she shared, “I have nothing but wasted years to give to God now.” She explained that when she had the time to serve God, she instead chose her own pleasure. One thing that remained with me after that story was the phrase, “wasted years”. I felt deep within me the need to not waste my years, and the clarity that I could avoid doing so, by answering the call. I left my job, went to Jamaica, attended seminary, was ordained and became a Minister of Religion.
I fell in love with Jesus Christ at the age of 13 and my life has never been the same. I have moved from death to life; from compulsion to relationship; from wasted years to living at the center of His will for my life. The wind is not known because it can be seen. It is known because of its effect. It changes the spaces through which it moves. Jesus has moved into my life and changed me for my good and His glory. Amen.
The life transformed is that which knows (beyond the realm of intellectual assent) that Jesus is real. It is the one who has expectation that all the letters of Scripture amount to something more than a moving story and religious rituals, who seeks and finds life-giving relationship with Jesus Christ-The Son of God.
As Be-Held Women we believe that true self-care is accomplished in a lifestyle of intimacy with Jesus Christ. We take care by drawing near to God: seeking and living the truth of God’s Word, by the power of His Spirit dwelling within us, confident that in living the truth by Holy Spirit reliance we will be transformed into women who so clearly bear the image of Jesus Christ in spirit, soul and body that we will come to bless many. Dear Be-Held Woman, seeking, living and being transformed by the truth, we offer you this Bible study guide to support you in your endeavors! Apply it to this week's Scripture reading.
Carolyn Sinclair McCalla is an educator, Christian education youth coordinator, author, singer, workshop and retreat leader, speaker and founder and president of EarthBasic. However, she is first and foremost a daughter of God, with a passion for encouraging women to embrace the fullness of God's love for them in Jesus Christ. You can connect with Carolyn on facebook, Instagram and here.