Jesus and the hot glue gun
I am somewhat a collector of religious artifacts. A wall of many crosses that people have brought me from all over the world, including the Holy Land, takes up one wall in my bedroom. Some are handmade by master woodcraftsmen, some are simple a couple splinters of wood nailed together. But, they were all gifts and are special to see first thing in the morning and the last thing at night.
I also have several mezuzahs which came from Israel. Some are metal with beautiful stones inlaid, one is inexpensive Lucite with Hebrew art and one is made from olive wood. Two of them have kosher parchments inside with the Shema and other Hebrew documents.
Recently, a good friend brought me a set of prayer beads from Jerusalem made of olive wood. They can also serve as a rosary for our friends of the Catholic faith, but they are also used by Protestants as prayer beads as they bring their adoration, confessions, thanks, and supplications to God. At the bottom is a cross with an inlaid picture of Jesus. It is a beautiful piece of religious art and I always carry it in my pocket. When things get tough, I feel a sense of God’s presence when I put my hand in my pocket and can feel the reminder of prayers.
Well, the other day when I was emptying my pockets at the end of day, I noticed that the cross (and Jesus) had come unknotted and was missing. Searching frantically through my pockets, the floor and everywhere I could think, I finally found Jesus on the floor under my recliner where I guess he had slipped out of my pocket and under the chair when I stood up. My sausage-like fingers could not get the strands of cord back through the holes in the cross and get secure knots tied. I knew it would just come loose again. So, I resorted to the one item no home should be without. The glue gun. I heated that thing up, used a needle threader to get the strands back through the holes, clumsily tied a couple knots, and ... hot glued it on every available surface.
After I finished this procedure, and my thoughts began to flow, I realized how we often lose Jesus. In this country, it is very difficult to grow up without some knowledge of Jesus, whether you choose to become a believer or not. Jesus is everywhere. So, how do we lose Him?
We can lose Jesus by just ignoring His desires for us. To love Him and to love others. To share His Name and His love with those around us. We can lose Jesus by allowing the ways of the world to take control of our lives. The television shows we watch, the movies we see, the jokes we tell, the language we use, and so on. All these can become a part of our life so quickly that Jesus is shoved to the back and eventually lost. You can lose Jesus by the friends and associates you choose and the places you hang out. Mainly, however, you can lose Jesus by not staying faithful to His House and to His people. It’s so easy, especially this time of year, to take a Sunday off for a “day at the lake” or to just catch up on sleep or yard work. Then, the next Sunday, maybe we decide to go to a ballgame and before long, we’ve missed several Sundays of fellowship in God’s House with God’s people. And that is where our strength comes from and that is where we can keep Jesus in our lives.
It would be so much easier if ministers could just hot-glue Jesus onto our backs permanently, but they can’t. It is up to them and to us to encourage each other in the faith. You can be the glue for someone else.
And for today my friends, this has been the gospel according to Jimmy.
Jimmy Cochran is a resident of McDonough, a musician, a minister and the author of “Being God’s” and “Staying God’s,” both available at Amazon.com.