The conversation goes like this:
Them: I’ve caught the bug.
Me: I didn’t know you were feeling sick.
Them: No, I’ve caught the Jesus bug.
Me: When you say it like that, it makes Jesus sound like an infection.
Them: Ooops, that’s not what I meant.
Me: I know. Jesus is the cure.
(Image courtesy of fisheaters.com)
I always enjoy seeing how people refer to Jesus. Often it is unintentional in the way they construe our Savior. The “I caught the bug” reference can lead you to think Jesus is an infectious disease, something to be abhorred and inoculated against. In reality, Jesus is the cure for the sin sick world and our own sick spirit. This is why Jesus tells the Pharisees, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick” (Matthew 9:12 NRS). How often do you hear people refer to going to church or their spiritual practices as if it were like going to the doctor’s office for multiple shots and invasive tests? We don’t just go to church or pray when we’re sick, when we have an immediate need. We go to church and pray all along so that when the time comes and we need it, we’re already in relationship with God and being sustained, prepared for difficult times.
There are always going to be people who wish they could just be healthy, but we know that to be physically fit takes more than just existing. It takes a healthy diet, exercise, and a lucky pull from the gene pool never hurts. The bottom line is that it takes effort. Our spirituality is no different. If you want a healthy spirit, then you are going to have to work at it. People who work out with a partner or a group have more success and sustain their workouts over a longer period of time than those who work out alone. The same holds true for spiritual health. When you are a part of a community of faith, the others help to sustain you, encourage you, and keep you from getting spiritually deprived. Could it be that our omniscient God knew this and enacted the Church to be the place where we find a community to work on our spirituality with together? Preventative medicine at its best.