Moore: Only Jesus can save a mess like me | VailDaily.com

Moore: Only Jesus can save a mess like me

A few years back my family took a trip to Florida. We rented this cool little condo near a beach, complete with everything needed except the most important piece of home infrastructure possible.

No, it had running water. It didn’t have a coffee maker.

Ignoring my family’s confusion as to why this constituted a crisis, I located the nearest coffee shop, about a mile down the road. Crisis averted.

So, the next morning when I got up to hike the mile to Latte’da, my wife asked “why do you need coffee anyway?” Blank stare. Are you kidding me?  That’s like asking “why do you need to breathe anyway?”

Recently a friendly reader responded to one of my columns with the deeply insightful question: “Why do we need imaginary friends?” I’ll suspend reality for a second and assume he wasn’t mocking my faith in Jesus.

Let’s rephrase the question: “Why do you need to believe in God?” Keep or leave the sarcasm, it really is a good question. As a very pragmatic (even skeptical) person, why do I believe in God? Even more, why am I an active follower of Jesus Christ? Why do I NEED Jesus anyway?

There’s more ways to approach that question than there are brands of coffee, spanning the disciplines of theology, philosophy, sociology, psychology, cosmology, biology, even economics (and more). All of these streams have wrestled with the question of why people believe in God, but let me come at it personally. 

In my life experience as a pragmatist, there simply is more rational evidence for the existence of God than not. Many intellectuals across the centuries have argued this, and I respect that many also disagree. One of my favorite “God evidences” is the sheer joy I receive from a hot cup of coffee (interesting topic if you want to go there — the appreciation of joy and beauty as evidence of God).  

But that just addresses my belief in the existence of a creator. Faith in the God of the Bible, specifically faith in Christ, is another matter altogether.  So, once again, why do I need Jesus?

Given I’ve only got 300 words to go, let me give just one reason. Ready? Here it is. Left to my own devices, I’m a mess. Now, I’m fortunate enough to have had a fairly secure and healthy upbringing, so I might have a head start on a few of you, but trust me: I’m a mess. 

Maybe not what you want your local pastor to say, but we’ve got plenty of pretending in our culture right now, so why add to it. In the right circumstance I can be angry, petty, impatient, inconsiderate, and sometimes just mean, especially if you’re an unsolicited salesperson calling my cell phone. No, I don’t want to add to my bleeping timeshare I’m already not using! But I digress.

Can you relate? I recognize that I am a mess, I don’t want to be a mess, and yet … I can still be a mess! In the Biblical book of Romans, Paul sums up our shared frustration as he cries out: “I do not understand what I do! For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate, this I do!”

Then, with the brutal honesty I most love about Paul, he exclaims “Who will rescue me from this body of death!” There it is. That’s why I need Jesus, for His is the unchanging Grace and love that takes me as I am and exchanges my mess for His Life. It’s not about religion, it’s about freedom. I need Jesus because I can’t make life work without him, and more than that, I wasn’t designed to.

Friends, Easter is only three weeks away. If you are a mess like me, I invite you to find a church and come hear about why we Christians need Jesus. It may just turn out that you need him too. 

Ethan Moore is the pastor of Trinity Church in Edwards. He and Lisa have lived in the valley since 1995. Ethan can be reached at godandcoffeevail@gmail.com, and he would love to have a cup of coffee with you.