Jesus Didn't Come for You...

Do you know what a "doppelganger" is? The dictionary gives the entry of "a ghostly double or counterpart of a living person". I had never heard the word before an artist that I have a lot of respect for somehow managed to put it into a song that somehow made a lot of sense. You see, I've been coming to a realization about myself and about us as human beings. There is a part of me that I really... Really... REALLY want you to know. And there is a part of me that I really... Really... REALLY hate. I would hate for you to see that version of me, and I really want you to see my best version. I think all of us can relate.
 
The smart and witty version of me, who has the right answer to the question. The super Christian who knows some Bible passages and how to apply them. I would hate for you to see the guy who swears at the TV when Michigan or the Packers can't do anything on offense. The disappointment I unleash on my kids when I'm not paying any attention to them. The Bible that hasn't been opened in a week.
 
As I think about the alarming rise of fear, anxiety, depression, and suicide among people today, especially for young adults, there is something that is becoming clearer and clearer to me. I am afraid - deeply afraid to really look into the mirror. Because on the other side of the pretty version of me, my ghostly double, the monster that is inside me, is too much to bear.
 
But, this is where the healing begins I have this picture in my mind of me standing in front of a mirror staring at the doppelganger, ashamed of what it is and that it is a part of me. When slowly I become aware that Jesus is standing right behind me. He isn't mad, he isn't upset, he isn't ashamed, he isn't disappointed. He looks at my ghostly alternate and says "that's the part of you that I came for, that I love, that I redeemed". He reminds me that he didn't come for the part of me that is healthy; he came for the part of me that is sick. And since I and my doppelganger share the same blood - then Jesus came for me on my best days when my pride is blinding me from my need for a Savior - and he came for me on my worst days when the monster has won the day.
 
We look into the mirror and hate ourselves. Jesus looks into the mirror and his heart breaks for relationship with us... to make us whole and to begin again!
 
Jason Gray wrote a song years ago called "The Golden Boy and the Prodiga l " about this doppelganger effect. If we are to love our neighbors as ourselves, what happens when we hate what we see in the mirror? Jesus reminds us he came to heal the sick, not the healthy. Save the broken sinner, not the righteous who need no savior. He finishes the song with these lyrics:

The Golden boy is made of straw His finest suit will surely burn
His vice is the virtue That he never had to earn
The prodigal's been broken And emptied at the wishing well
But he's stronger for the breaking With a story to tell
 
I'm not easy with confessions It's hard to tell the truth
But I have favored the golden boy While the other I've abused
And he takes it like a man Though he's longing like a child
To be loved and forgiven And share the burden for awhile
 
So take a good look in the mirror Tell me who you see
The one who Jesus died for Or the one you'd rather be
Can you find it in your heart To show mercy to the one
The Father loved so much That he gave his only son...

No... Jesus didn't come for the Golden Boy version of me and when I hear that, my prideful monster rises up. And in frustration and embarrassment at the appearance of my monster, God's love, mercy, and grace washes over me and reminds me that I matter, I am loved, I am enough. Why? Because Jesus came for the Prodigal that is inside me and inside each one of you.
 
Give yourself a break; receive the forgiveness that Christ won for you - because he loves you on your good days yes, but even more so on your days of weakness.  I wrote a song about that called "Singing Over You". Read Zephaniah 3 for yourself and see the Savior who is mighty to save the sin sick monster in all of us!

 

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Events

Feb25

Chapel @ Wisconsin Lutheran High School

Mike will play guitar with the Wisco Chapel worship team for a special Ash Wednesday service. You can check out the chapel service live on the Wisco livestream.

Mar2

LWMS Event @ St. Paul's Lake Mills

St. Paul's Lake Mills, 1530 South Main Street, Lake Mills

Mike will be sharing with the Lutheran Women's Missionary Society about encouraging and walking with young adults:

HOPE AND THE BROKEN ROAD - UNDERSTANDING THE JOURNEY OF EMERGING ADULTS In our church body, much of our history has been spent creating a path for spiritual growth from cradle to grave and yet it seems that we struggle to keep teens and young adults connected to that narrow road. About every 15-20 years, a new group of people is given a label that tends to stereotype an entire generation. Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, Gen Z - you get the point. As many books and articles are written about these emerging cultures, not enough attention is paid to the unique realities that young people face in the 18-25 time of life. In this session we take a harder look at what some call the "University Moment" and the challenges to identity, intimacy and freedom and why walking WITH them through their doubts, questions, arrogance and pride as older adults is so important.

Apr23

WELS Staff Ministers Conference

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Martin Luther College, 1995 Luther Ct, New Ulm

Mike will be leading a couple plenary sessions regarding the challenges facing young adults and lessons they have shared with us on walking with them. Keeping and promoting a growing relationship with Jesus at the forefront of the college years.

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