What If God Was One of Us?

This week on American Idol Steven Tyler said something profound. The judges had just given Heejun Han the news that he would be part of this season’s top 24. Remarkably,Heejun had never sung in public before he auditioned for the show. After the tears and the hugs, Steven looks him in the eye and says, “You know, what is funny man is – that we are all bozos on the bus, until we find some way to express ourselves.” Steven goes on to say that some people express themselves through being a “lawyer or this or that” but … ” You and me, we take everything we have ever learned, and let it out (all of it) through our singing. You let it all out, we are touched by it.” Steven’s quote made me think of the above Joan Osbourne song (written by Eric Bazilian of The Hooters), One of Us.

If God had a name, what would it be
And would you call it to his face
If you were faced with him in all his glory
What would you ask if you had just one question

And yeah yeah God is great yeah yeah God is good
yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah

What if God was one of us
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make his way home

When this song first came out it was widely criticized. People said the word slob shouldn’t be used of God incarnate. I think they missed the point. You know what though? God is one of us! That is the whole point. He did become “just a slob like one of us.”  Webster says that slob can simply mean, “an ordinary person.” Philippians 2:5-11 says:

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

He came here, that is the whole point. He didn’t stay away. He became a “slob like one of us” so that we could see that he loved us (John 3:16-17) and that he isn’t condemning us. He found a way to express that love, he found his voice and he poured all of himself into feeling what we feel, going where we go and suffering where we suffer. And guess what? He is STILL with us. He is the best part of humanity. He represents what it is to be fully human. His image is borne throughout the earth wherever people draw breath. And he reminds us that we are all along for the ride, “bozos on the bus” if you will, just trying to find our way to express our particular facet of His glorious image; To find our way home.

Have you ever felt like a bozo on the bus? I know I do, and I know Jesus did too. You know how I know? Because he experienced what it is to be one of us.

Recently, through this blog and through all of you, I feel like I have found my voice. Listen close, lean in and find yours. On your next spin on the bus of your life, stop and take a minute to truly hear the expression of God himself in the “bozo” in the seat next to you; Because you know what? That bozo bears the image of the God of the universe.

“Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” Stop to hear the voices of the stranger (bozo) on the bus”   Matthew 25:40

recommended links:  http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/church/features/28380-what-diversity-should-look-like

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