Embarrassing Jesus?

The speaker in the opening session today asked this question:
"What about your youth ministry is an embarrassment to Jesus?"
That single question has raised a bunch of other questions in my mind. A few are...

- Can God ever really be embarrassed by his Children? Does his total love for us make it impossible to be embarrassed by us? I don't know.

- If we can embarrass him, is he more embarrassed by junk in my heart or visible junk that mis-represents him to others? Maybe both?

- Certainly a poorly delivered message or a half-hearted video doesn't embarrass him, does it?

I'm sure that if God is capable of being embarrassed by me or my ministry, then I've given him plenty to be embarrassed about.


James said...

I don't know that God can be embarrassed as we know it. Think about your own kids - they might do things that embarrass themselves, or might be publicly embarrassing, but does that make you embarrassed of them? I would guess no, and that's the result of an imperfect love. How much stronger is God's perfect love, then?

Also, the notion of embarrassment is, in itself, a social and cultural concept. What is regarded is embarrassing here in the USA, might not be in Europe or Asia or some small tribal island in the middle of a large ocean. The perspective changes according to the audience, and God has no audience. He has no peers or equivalents in front of which He could feel embarrassed. Moreover, the words He speaks on the day of judgment negate any notion that God could be ashamed or embarrassed of us; "Here is my servant, with whom I am well pleased."

Other examples spring to mind. David did some pretty embarrassing stuff, yet at the end of his earthy life, God bestowed perhaps the highest honour He could upon David, and declared him a man after His own heart. Moses was a living paradox, appearing to be viscous and cruel in Numbers 31, yet also being the only person in the Bible that is called meek. Noah got drunk and got naked in front of his kids, yet the Bible calls him a just man, perfect in his generation, a dude who walked closely with God. I'm sure if I thought about it some more, I could find hundreds more examples of God's children doing embarrassing things, and God turning around and just pouring love on them.

So, is God embarrassed? I don't think so. I just don't see any part of His nature or love that would be party to it.

Sean said...

I get bogged down too easily in the semantics of it...are we talking about being embarrassed or being ashamed? Either way, I would agree that if that fire burns, I've certainly fed it plenty!

Regardless...hope you're having a blast out there, it's killing me not to be there!

mdaele said...

much is made of the idea of honor in Scripture...
dishonoring God seems to preoccupy the first few rules sent down the mountain with moses
I'm with sean maybe that's all just words but...
i can certainly think of things I've said and done that are totally embarrassing to me let alone to the one i claim to serve