Jeanna Repass serves as the Kansas City Missions Program Director at Resurrection.
For a short time during my faith journey, (between being an Episcopalian and becoming a Lutheran on my way to joining the United Methodist Church), I worshipped with my Maternal Grandmother at Salem Baptist Church. Salem is the largest African-American Church in Omaha, Nebraska. Worship at Salem was more of a marathon than a sprint and the race began every week with praise and worship as the kick-off to the service. The praise leader would teach songs by call and response and everyone would join in, standing on their feet, clapping, singing with joy and (watch out now) sometimes, touching and embracing each other! The lyrics from one of my favorite songs from my days at Salem are: “The Jesus in me, loves the Jesus in you. The Jesus in me, loves the Jesus in you. So easy… So easy… Easy to love!” While the congregation sang the lyrics everyone pointed to themselves and then to the people around them and sang the words directly to each other. I loved it then and can’t help but smile every time I sing this song now.
After watching the movie The Lion King on Sunday, it occurred to me that Rafiki telling Simba that he knows his father because Simba’s father, Mufasa, lives in Simba is exactly what this song is about. What I find more interesting is that Rafiki could see Mufasa in Simba even when Simba could not. It was through Rafiki’s vision that Simba was able to remember his father and finally see the Mufasa in himself. Paul shared a similar reflective observation in this second letter to Timothy. Paul tells Timothy that he remembers him with love because of Timothy’s faith but also because of the faith he sees in Timothy’s Grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice. Paul reminds Timothy of the faith of their ancestors connecting them both to their bigger family as children of their father God. Paul could see and love the Jesus in Timothy and was intentional in reminding him of how important it is to see Jesus in one another.
Now that I’m feeling all good inside and full of insight – I’ll share a confession about the “Jesus in me” song. I sing it a lot. I sing it a lot because in my humanness, I find myself at odds with others more than I am proud to confess. I use this song as a way to remind myself that when I am really out of fellowship with some one, especially when I’m feeling really, righteously upset with them, it’s my job to be my own Rafiki. It’s time to write an imaginary letter from Paul to Jeanna and remind myself to see the Jesus in the other person. When I do this, whatever I am upset about goes right to the cross and it’s impossible to think of whatever was upsetting to me as having much if any significance. There are lyrics on the Lion King soundtrack that coincide with the moment that Simba sees his father’s reflection in the water and I share them with you here: “He lives in you. He lives in me. He watches over everything we see. Into the water. Into the truth. In your reflection… He lives in you.” May the Jesus in me see the Jesus in you because the Jesus in you is so easy… so easy to love! Amen.
Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.