I visited a temple once where people burnt incense to create positive energy between them and the universe.
I’ve seen shrines meant to honor, worship and appeal to some higher power.
I’ve known people who consult horoscopes for a glimpse into their future and people who collect trinkets meant to bring good luck from above.
I’ve met some who offer prayers to the sky, not knowing what might be up there but hoping something is.
All these things have led me to change the way I refer to a particular person in my life.
Over the past few years, I’ve started using the name Jesus more. I used to stick with “Christ,” but as I’ve been exposed to other faiths, I’ve become more and more grateful that He and I can be on a first-name basis.
Jesus isn’t some unreachable, unrelatable being, but a person. Someone who understands me. Someone to talk to. Someone who listens and cares and is involved with my life.
Yes, He’s God, too, but He’s also a person.
During His 33 years on earth, Jesus was seen and touched. He traveled, cried, formed friendships, ate, prayed for people, attended weddings, occupied a fishing boat, taught, worked, healed and felt pain.
Of course it wasn’t just those 33 years.
While He may not walk around in sandals and robes anymore, He’s as present as ever. And I’m not just saying that because the Bible says so (although I think that’s a good reason); I know it for a fact because of the impact He’s had on my life.
It’s the way He’s transformed my thoughts and actions—how He’s made me more hopeful, more compassionate and, little by little, less selfish. It’s the way He’s been there when no one else is and how He’s always faithful even when others aren’t. It’s how He knows my name and makes me feel valued and cherished with all my many, many flaws.
I know there’s nothing wrong with calling Him “Christ” or even “Jesus Christ,” but when I know people well or have a personal relationship with them, I tend to use their first names.
And I gotta say that being on a first-name basis with the Savior of the world is pretty darn cool.