A Letter to Jesus

So, you might have noticed the activity level of the Jesse Lee Project dropped to next to nothing over the past month.   You might have asked has Scott finally run out of things to say?

Let me assure that I am still just as fired up.

Yet, as this past Advent rolled in, I deliberately chose to push the pause button for this site.  If there is one thing I have come to believe, whether in the world of religion or not, is that we tend to like to talk, and talk, and talk….  I wanted to take this Holy time of the year, and be more about action.

For the past month, I was knee…or maybe neck… deep in the missions and ministry of Asbury Church, at a level that was greater than any year prior.   In order to afford that luxury in an already taxed schedule, I consciously decided to push the Jesse Lee Project to the side for the month.

In hindsight, I never expected to receive the number of emails that I did for folks wondering about my health, the website, you name it.  (Note:  When did I ever give the impression that my health is precarious by the way?  What’s up folks?!?!  Now I’m going to have to ramp up my running even more!)  With seriousness, looking back I could have more adequately prepared for my absence but of course hindsight is twenty/twenty.   Please be assured that we are all engines full speed ahead.  I’m still superman !  🙂

During this Sabbath, an incredible amount of energy was put on pushing our economic ministries of our church to a new and greater level.   During this past month, we were able to meet our neighbors in their need.   We helped families with food, gifts, clothing, and money.  We braved the cold with buckets for spare change and canned foods.   We worked to coordinate the efforts of our full community to make a real and lasting difference in the lives of our neighbors.  And we were successful.

As I return to the blog for 2012, I do so with several new goals. 

1.)     Work to have the Jesse Lee Project become more than a clearinghouse for sermons, and random musings.   I want to see this site become a voice in those issues that cause my heart to break or my feet to start moving.

2.)    I want to find a way to leverage the 1000’s of visitors to this site in a way that can foster real change on the issues that matter.  I want to see the Jesse Lee Project change to the Jesse Lee Movement. 

3.)    I want to discover the ways that the Jesse Lee Project can take this cyber discussion to the real world and partner with the many active ministries and missions around us, so that in the end we can be about more than talk and random musings.

Maybe you can help, maybe you can offer suggestions.   From the emails I receive via this site, it’s clear that the Jesse Lee Project is important to many, and who is better  to help move it forward than those who read this collection of odd musings and reflections?

In closing, I would like to offer one final note regarding the past month that came to light on Christmas Morning.   During our Christmas Service I gave a letter to every one of our worshippers.   It was a renewed and rewritten version of the traditional letter from Jesus that many churches have given out each year.   It was my hope that my letter would remind each other of the true holiness in the moment of Christmas.    As I reflected on the Christmas moment for my family,  I realized that 2011 was the most spiritually profound of my life, due simply to being on the front line in a degree that I have never done before.   It was life changing and never have I felt like I was walking so closely to God as I did over this past year.    In the end, I am going to fight to insure that this feeling carries deep into 2012.

I hope you enjoy our Christmas letter from Jesus, and please accept my belated wishes on a Merry Christmas and a holy new year.


 Dear Children

Merry Christmas!  You don’t need me to tell you that so many of us believe that my birthday has been lost from our celebrations.   They believe political correctness and apathy have stolen Christmas.    You may find yourself asking “how can I keep this from getting even worse?”   I have the answer.  If you want to celebrate my birth, in a way that keeps me front and center, do one thing:  Love each other.

If you want to give me a present in celebration of my birth; please know that simply saying “Merry Christmas” rather than “Happy Holidays” does little to honor me.    It’s our choice to make this day about everything else; from fruitcakes to stockpiling AA batteries, so if you want to insure that this moment stays about me, than let this moment change you.

Let the love of Christmas change the lives you live.   For this upcoming year commit to be more deliberate in your love.   Write a letter to a soldier.  Visit a nursing home.   Decide to spend more time at the dinner table or at the playground.   Think about the times you complained about a family member, coworker, or neighbor; and commit to praying for them this year.

Spend time with your children, friends, and families.   It is not objects that they want.  They want you.   Teach them what it means to be strong families, and strong men and women; whose character is measured by the people they are when no one is looking.  Teach them about me.  Introduce them to the Bible.  Commit to walking alongside them.

Teach them to search for answers.   Tell them my story and why I came to live with you down here. Be willing to listen to their questions, but remember; if you think you have it all figured out; you are wrong.   Help each other to figure this whole faith thing out.  Don’t be angry with them as they journey.   Instead, be there for them when they doubt and hold them up when their knees shake.

Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.  Remember that forgiveness is not something we do for someone else; as much as it is something we do for ourselves.  Forgiveness is when we say someone or something will no longer have control over our hearts, our psyche, our soul, or our lives.    Choose to let go.

Although I am in all things and all moments, and you can find me in any dark alley or in living rooms across the world, commit to be more deliberate in spending time with me.   Choose church more frequently.   Commit to a family of faith because in the end there is not only accountability found in that family, but in them there will be strength, comfort, and hope when you need it most.

Lastly, experience the truest miracle of this season; embrace the stillness and silence.    It is in that silence and stillness, that if you slow down enough to listen, you will hear me whispering to you.   In moments of stillness, reverence, celebration or silence (or holiness as many like to call it), I can be heard.   Take the moment to ask me, “What now God?”   Then listen to my reply.

Remember, take the moment remember me most fully by embracing the time or the memories of those you love.  This is my greatest birthday wish.

Remember, I Love You, Jesus.

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