faithReach Out, Touch Faith. Your Own Personal Jesus – Depeche Mode

It’s amazing where we can find God. In scripture, while walking through the woods, in a soup kitchen and in a song. Martin Gore, who wrote the lyrics for Personal Jesus, attributes Priscilla Presley’s book Elvis and Me as his inspiration. In doing so Gore crafted a song about being Jesus to someone else.

I cannot speak to Gore’s personal faith journey as it is unknown to me. However, whether intentionally or not, he has hit the proverbial nail on the head. One of the ways we come to know God is through our understanding and relationship with Jesus Christ. In many ways this relationship is personal. Each of us brings our own understanding, questions and background into our relationship with Jesus. By its very nature this relationship is personal to us.

Jesus invites us into a relationship. The relationship is initiated by God’s calling in our lives. We are responding to a primal impulse placed within us by our creator. The incarnation reminds us of God’s desire to live and move among us. However, we should remember that Jesus did not call one disciple. He called twelve. God is interested in community.

This sense of community can come from unexpected places. I enjoy finding Jesus outside of the church, because that is where Jesus belongs. Jesus did not come to build an institution, but to invite us into relationship. In Matthew’s gospel we are reminded of Jesus’ words, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” Jesus comes amongst us in unexpected places and surprising ways.

The community that is created when believers come together is a part of our journey of faith. We do not travel the road alone as the man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho did. Instead we travel with one another and in doing so we act as Christ to each other. This is another vital aspect of the incarnation, Jesus models what our relationships should look like. “Just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” We are called to act as Jesus would to those we meet.

When Johnny Cash heard Personal Jesus he felt that it was a gospel song. Cash recorded a version of the song on his American IV, The Man Comes Around album. In talking about the song Cash stated “That’s probably the most evangelical gospel song I ever recorded.”

Isn’t it fascinating how God uses the most unlikely of sources to share the Good News? How does our relationship with Jesus inform our personal journey of faith? I wonder in what new ways God might be speaking to each one of us.

So what are you waiting for? Reach out.

Reaching Out in Faith was originally published in the Northumberland Today on September 30, 2015.