What if God was one of us?

Joan Osborne asked this question in her song “One of Us” that reached Number One on Canadian music charts in 1995.

Joan Osborne asked this question in her song “One of Us” that reached Number One on Canadian music charts in 1995.

Written in one night by Eric Bazilian of The Hooters, it was not originally intended for public release. Nevertheless, this simple ballad struck a chord with many people.

Why? It gave a voice to a growing segment of the population who believe in God but feel alienated from him. This tune expressed both a desire for a knowable, relatable God and an increasingly jaded attitude toward the churches that claim to speak for Him.

One can almost picture Osborne dismissively waving her hand as she sings “yeah, yeah, God is great.” It is as if she is saying, “Yeah, I’ve heard all that religious stuff before. But what does the great God in the clouds have to do with slobs like us?” If only God were somebody that understood what real life is like here in the real world, then that would be the kind of God that she would believe in.

When I first heard “One of Us” I found myself yelling at the radio: “God was one of us! Didn’t somebody tell you?” The single greatest message of the Christmas season is this: God has walked where we walk.

Jesus came as a flesh-and-blood human being, not some sort of heavenly hologram. He experienced all of the same pains and struggles that we do today and probably more—I’m sure first century Judeans had a harder life than 21st century Canadians do!

I’m sure Jesus would have loved to be “a stranger on the bus tryin’ to make his way home” as the song says. Instead, Jesus constantly walked long distances through the countryside and often had no home to make his way to—the Bible says he had “no place to lay his head” (Matt. 8:20).  From a birth in a stable to death as a criminal, Jesus was nothing if not down-to-earth.

Amid the noise of the Christmas season, it is easy for this message to be lost. But there is good news. You can hear it if you listen carefully.

I’m not being figurative; you can literally hear about exactly what I’ve been saying if you listen carefully for the next days until Christmas.

How? Somewhere there will be Christmas music playing that you normally tune out and don’t think about—such as in a store or during a Christmas movie.

When you listen to the words of the Christmas carols, they tell the whole story. And it’s a true story that’s good news for anyone that ever wished God was a little more like one of us.


Just Posted

Consult before creating Fauquier reserve: CCT

Sinixt seek consultation before Westbank reserve gets go-ahead

From Maccu Picchu to Nakusp, this grandma keeps going

North Africa’s next on the list for the globe-trotting Dale James

Nakusp bike shop owner opens hostel

Catering to the cycling crowd coming to the area for world-class biking

In historic Sandon, clearing roofs just part of winter

Sandon roofs can take a lot, but need maintenance

Needles killer frightened many in our town: BC author

Roy Bugera disrupted life in a quiet Vancouver Island village before moving to Arrow Lakes

Ottawa proposes restricted pot labels, packages

Packaging will include red stop sign with marijuana leaf and ‘THC’

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Pro-Trump protest sign with F-word is OK, court rules

Judges say Ontario man can protest publicly, even using vulgar language

VIDEO: Police officer looking for distracted drivers gets hit by truck

Road safety investigator clipped by trailer while patrolling busy intersection

YVR wants you to help name three new puppies

Say hello to the Vancouver Airport’s new assistance pups

Suspect who attacked autistic man in Ontario could be from B.C.’s south coast: police

29-year-old man was sent to hospital with serious injuries

Privacy watchdog to explore Facebook leak

Canadian expert says his analytics company helped Trump campaign capitalize on private Facebook info

Woman struck and killed by self-driving Uber vehicle

Ride-hailing company suspends all road-testing of such vehicles in U.S. and Canada

Spring snow melt uncovers dirty needles in B.C. city

Vernon residents are upset with number of needles being found around town with spring melt

Most Read