Stories

The Human Encounter

This week’s post comes from one of our summer interns, Kirstin Yu. Kirstin is a gifted writer who has spent the summer sharing her beautiful gift with several of our teams. Today, Kirstin is reflecting on a portion of this past Sunday’s sermon. Enjoy!

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Since childhood, I’ve found Jesus to be a rather murky figure. It’s a little embarrassing to admit, having been in church for my whole life, but I was always more comfortable with thinking about God the Father—while my seven-year-old brain didn’t really know what to do with “God becomes human and dies and then comes back to life (for our sins),” it certainly understood the concept of father: that guy who sits in front of his computer all day and makes us carbonated jello for after-school snacks.

I knew what it meant to love my dad, and I knew what it meant for my dad to love me. And now you’re telling me I have an all-powerful dad who made the universe? Awesome—even more jello.

But this Jesus guy… As I grew older, I continued to skirt around him, knowing intellectually that he was God, our savior, the light of the world, etc. etc. but staying away from the gospels, turning instead to the epistles or the Old Testament narratives. It was more comfortable. Relatable.

Ironically, when I finally put my finger on what bothered me about Jesus, I realized it was, in fact, the thing that made Jesus the most relatable—his humanity.

Here in the Bible we find Jesus: some besandaled Middle Eastern dude who presents miracles and metaphors, goes fishing with his friends, and claims to be God. Sure, the miracles and God proclamation might be a bit different, but hey, I like metaphors! I wear sandals! I get hungry and tired and frustrated, and so did Jesus.

I don’t know about you, but I find the idea of God being “relatable” a little disconcerting. After all, God is God. He created the universe. He’s not supposed to be relatable. Even the idea of saying that Jesus is relatable feels like some seriously presumptuous presumption. What does it even mean for Jesus to be God and human? My brain simply can’t synthesize the two. God isn’t supposed to be relatable.

Or is he? Isn’t it true that we are created in the image of God? We have eyes while God sees; we have ears while God hears; we love—a pale, sickly imitation, but love nonetheless—while God loves with a love greater than we can imagine. Is it really so odd to think of Jesus being born in all of his goopy glory, already seeing, already hearing, but now with eyeballs and eardrums and human emotions?

(Yes.)

Okay, but really. Our God is a relatable God. (Of course, he is also very unrelatable at times, since he is God and we are not, but that’s not the point right now.) God relates to us. Every time he speaks to his people, he relates to us. We are, after all, invited into a relationship with God. And maybe that’s the truly crazy part. God created us and loves us, even after we reject him again and again, and he’s carrying out his master plan to redeem humanity and the world, and part of that plan involves him coming to us as a human being with bones, blood, and skin, who lives and dies and lives so that we might live and die and live.

So I might not be able to wrap my brain around the idea of Jesus as God and man. There are a lot of things I cannot, and will never, understand. And I’m learning to be okay with that. Because here is one thing I do know: God loves his creation. God loves you. God loves me. Why? How? It doesn’t matter. He just does. And he’s bringing humanity back to him.

Kirstin Yu
About the Author: Kirstin Yu
Kirstin is a summer intern who’s attended Blackhawk since she was in the womb. She is going into her second year as a religious studies/creative writing major at the University of Chicago where, when not studying, she’ll be doing InterVarsity stuff, making music, and playing contract bridge. She also likes The Silmarillion and clouds.