Titles, labels, are an important thing. We find them on business cards and offer them in initial conversations. They help us place ourselves and others in the world around us.
However, titles do not apply only to people or roles. We read a hundred “titles” a day, sometimes on the spines of books, sometimes as we surf the web for news, and sometimes scrolling by on the ticker of cable television.
Biblically, titles are significant as well. The biblical authors consistently search for language, for titles, that can begin to scratch the surface of a God who is three-in-one, and who surpasses our ability to comprehend him.
In all these cases, titles are trying to capture something, to present the essence of a thing in a way that draws us in. Whether it’s a clickbait article title or a lofty (and perhaps ridiculous) job title, titles are a moment of distillation and clarification.
This is why, as I return to this space with some degree of intention, I’ve been pondering the title. The blog has gone through a number of iterations, all in some way reflecting that particular moment (or year, or three) of my spiritual journey. As a result, “Confronted by Christ” doesn’t feel like a fit anymore. It feels like the pseudo-and-often-pettier-than-I-would-have-liked-indignation of a person in their young twenties who thinks they know a lot more than they do.
Do I still have these less-than-wise responses? Of course, but I’m also increasingly aware that words written even in the greatest fit of passion can too often be empty, particularly if Christ is absent.
My words, in this space or spoken elsewhere, can have no impact unless Christ is involved, doing his work. It is always Christ who draws us, whether to hear a tale of his goodness, faithfulness, and love, or to hear a rebuke and call to repentance.
The phrase “drawn by Christ” is rich with meaning. In addition to the magnetic attraction that the Spirit leads us ever further into, there is also the implicit creative metaphor. We are people who give up our right to draw our own life portrait.
This seems counterintuitive. Our entire lives are spent in rhythms that teach us the opposite. We go through education that empowers us to determine our own destiny, we get paid for being independent beings, and we look down on relationships that exhibit almost any sort of dependence.
But the Christian life is different. It is one where we give up our right to draw our own portraits and invite God to draw us. It means that sometimes lines are erased that we may have preferred to keep, but the drawing is always a better one as we are drawn by Christ.
If titles are the distillation of a thing, then my hope is that this blog, “Drawn by Christ,” can become a space where we are drawn towards and by Christ, and hopefully, in the process, become people who are more receptive and open to his work.
Thanks for hanging around; I look forward to journeying together.