Part of the beauty of what Jesus said at 12 years of age is that it begins with "I". There was a time in my life when that used to be a very difficult word. "I". Actually, that one small word is still a difficult word. Why is it so difficult? 

     It has taken me a long time to realize this, but I believe the word "I" to be difficult because of who the word is talking about. Even saying that makes me want to distance myself from what I just wrote, "Did I speak truth there? Am I right about that? What will the people reading this think about what 'I' just said there? I... Yep, that word is talking about me! Yikes!" Just take a nice long second and say "I" out-loud. How are you feeling? For many, that word could stir up some funky feelings and I believe it is because, deep down, we know exactly what that word really means. It means we have to come face to face with ourselves.

     If you are like me, you would rather do anything in the world instead of coming face to face with yourself. However, we are "I" people whether we like to recognize it or not because we are made in the image of the great "I AM". The sooner we recognize and get comfortable with who we are, that we are made in the image of the great "I AM", the sooner we can truly be about the image maker's business for our lives.

     I remember hearing a preacher say once, "Jesus, after He gave the great commission, ascended to Heaven and sat down." That statement echoed through the chambers of my mind for weeks after I heard it. It continues to ring because the implications of that statement can only mean one thing: that Jesus expects us, His church, His beautiful bride made in His image, to be His hands and feet, right now, in this world. He expects us to recognize, as Gregg likes to say, "If it's to be it's up to me."

     Jesus makes no bones about what He was doing by ascending and sitting down at the right hand of the Father. If anything, He was emphasizing what He said when He was a 12 year old, "I must be about My Father's business." Jesus accomplished the Father's business for His life. It's as if Jesus is saying, "Ok, now it's your turn to be about our Father's business."

     Jesus is the head and the church is the body and if one member struggles to realize it's personal "I" responsibility, then the whole body can fail to accomplish the most simple of tasks. Imagine your head telling your fingers to tie your shoe while your fingers yells back at your head, "Oh please! You do it! Your will be done not mine!" I truly believe, and I'm learning it more each day, that Jesus is up in heaven saying, "Church, it's your job to tie the shoe. Tie it and get busy moving."

Stephen Ibach
J12 | Creative Director