Last fall, some friends and I attended a concert after work. One of those friends introduced me to his colleague, a Capitol Hill staffer new to the District.
“Why did you come to D.C.?” I asked her.
“God,” she said.
“God? God brought you to DC?”
“Yes. He said ‘no’ to everything else and led me here.”
“What do you think about Jesus?” I asked.
“He’s my Lord and Savior.”
The conversation did not come to a whiplash-inducing halt. We spoke a little longer about various other topics, but as I walked away from this exchange, one thing in particular stuck with me: Savior. What does that mean? What does that mean for most people who say this? What does this mean for her? For me? We’ve used this definition for so long that we’ve lost our ability to describe what it means.
The word itself, since becoming part of our script, has even lost some of its teeth. Yes, the theological, doctrinal statements about saving are vital, and they deserve much thought. But perhaps there’s more to Jesus’ saving than we’ve mentioned.
From what does he save? Sin? Our wrong-doing and wrong-thinking? That’s what I hear, but it’s never seemed satisfactory. He pays the price for wrongs and failures. But which wrongs and failures?
Saved? Has he pulled me out them? If so, why do I still struggle with them?
Saved? Were they killing me? Did I realize it? I mulled this over for the duration of the forty-five minute car ride home that night.
Today, those questions still weigh on me as I look at my day. Today, I’ll see co-workers. Customers. Roommates. I’ll talk to family. I’ll work all day, and I’ll encounter unexpected people and events in the midst of my agenda. I’ll need to relate to all of them.
I’ll need saving in all encounters. Saving from myself, my failures, my agenda. These do kill me as I attempt to love others. These often impede my ability to give to, to care for, to help others. Jesus says to love others as yourself. Well, I can’t. All my stuff gets in the way. That must qualify as some sort of sin or wrong or failure.
I have all these small but subversive addictions, fears, false dreams. I operate with a great deal of stubbornness and pride. If left alone, they’ll rule over me. If given to Jesus, he says he can teach me a better way, set me free. But it’s not a one-and-done deal. It’s more of a day-by-day, moment-by-moment process.
Fortunately, the author of our faith is also the perfector (Hebrews 12:2), working with us, shaping us, displaying patience and extravagant forgiveness for our many stumbles and falls.
A savior, by definition, saves. I need saving, all the time. The saving Jesus does, in all of its manifold forms, I need every day, every moment.
From what do you need saving?
From what has Jesus saved you?
Do we still recognize the need for saving today?
© Revolworks 2008