Apparently if a blog is to be a blog, it needs an About page.
So that if you are visiting the website for the first time, you will know a little bit about why this blog is here, how often it might be updated, who its author is, where on the socio-politico-religio spectrum the opinions voiced here are coming from. Things like that.
And I am happy to answer those questions: my name is Peter Prescott, I am trying to blog once each week, I do so for five reasons, and if anyone is able to offer a socio-politico-religio analysis of the opinions here expressed then I have no objection to being thus pigeon-holed.
But if there is one thing that I want you to know about me, if there is one defining characteristic of mine without which you will not understand me, if I have one saving grace of which I can boast—it’s that I love Jesus.
That’s My King
Not that I boast in this because I think I deserve credit for this. On the contrary, my love for Jesus is as much a result of much-regretted mistakes that I have made (and my subsequent experience of the inexhaustible kindness and mercy of Jesus in forgiving me) as it is of any wisdom or virtue that I might have (and even then, all that a person has and is, is itself a gift from God, and so not something for which undue credit should be taken.).
Specifically, here are three reasons why I want you to know:
1. To help you understand why I do the crazy things I do.
Shall we start with the more unusual? I’ve sat in my college bar dressed in a white robe, with a red sash tied round my waist, giving away lilies, trying to take people’s minds off the stresses of approaching examinations and turn them towards Jesus. And I’ve spent hours at a time standing in the centre of town offering people mustard seeds in an attempt to strike up a conversation about faith.
Why? Because I love Jesus—and so I want to talk about him.
Or we could focus on the less eccentric but equally provocative action of getting married. At the tender age of twenty-two. To a woman who I didn’t see naked until after our wedding. I didn’t think that getting married was such a controversial thing to do—-until I saw the face of one university friend after another taking on an expression of horrified shock when informed that I was engaged.
And the more I think about it, the more I think that getting married in the post-modern individualistic West only makes sense if you know the rugged sacrificial covenant love of Jesus.
Or perhaps you don’t understand why, when I have a decent degree from a respectable university, I am wasting away my career opportunities being a full-time unpaid volunteer, when I could be making the most of a fast-track graduate programme with a high-paying multinational corporation, or making my intellectual mark in the rarefied realms of academia by writing a doctoral thesis.
Again–while I pray God’s blessing upon all Christians called to work in business or in the university–I do what I do because I love Jesus.
2. So that you will keep me accountable.
So here I am claiming to love Jesus. And in my heart of hearts, I do.
I love him because of the fearless courage with which he spoke and lived, I love him because of his faultless integrity, I love him because of the power and wisdom of his words, I love him because he was willing to die – for me! I love him because he is alive and has defeated death, I love him because he hears my prayers and answers them.
There are more reasons, but these are more than enough. Yet for all my reasons to love Jesus, my attempts to live a life that reflects this invariably fall short.
Do I love him with all my heart? With all my soul? With all my mind? With all my strength?
I want to.
And so I am asking you who know me to keep me accountable, to judge all of my actions according to this standard.
3. Because I want to invite you to love Jesus too.
If you’re not a Christian, then have probably already been weirded out by my unrestrained professions of love for a figure who you might not even think is historical. But if you’ve made this far down the page, then that apparently hasn’t been enough to put you off.
So here’s what I want to say to you. This loving Jesus ‘thing’ isn’t just for me, it’s for everyone.
And it’s for you.
Maybe the best way to put it is like this:
is there any reason why you wouldn’t love Jesus?