Flat Jesus

A few years ago Flat Stanley traveled the world in envelopes mailed by thousands of elementary school students.  He would visit exotic locales and sometimes relativeFlat Stanleys of the senders.  Each recipient would take Flat Stanley with them and photograph him in various situations and add those photos into a journal. “Here’s a shot of Flat Stanley bungee jumping into Niagara Falls.”  “A selfie of Flat Stanley surfing at Waikiki Beach.”  “My Uncle Harold’s wedding where Flat Stanley was a hit as the ring-bearer.”

My fear is that Flat Stanley has become the new paradigm for the American Jesus.  Flat Stanley is a two-dimensional cardboard cutout, often crudely formed, that you can take with you anywhere or send anywhere else.  We love the two dimensional, crudely formed Jesus represented by a cross on a necklace, or a tattoo, or a t-shirt, or a bumper sticker.  He goes with us everywhere;  he is our little, holy, lucky, buddy.

I hate to break it to you, but the real Jesus is a wholly developed, three dimensional adult human being with a towering intellect, bursting with powerful emotions, devoted to those who love Him.  He is also the incomprehensible, multi-dimensional Almighty God.  Not someone you can keep in your pocket or send around the world in a manila envelope for a few cents postage.  And yet, by covenanting our souls with Him, He fills us with His Spirit like a jet full of rocket fuel. Look at the bigger, fuller Jesus and get ready to blast off!


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