Are you reading aloud the gospels, yet? Are you reading aloud the gospels?
I can hear you. I hear the same words.
Are you reading the gospels?
I am reading the same words.
Are you following Jesus? I am right beside you.
Are you following Jesus? Have you followed Him to the cross yet? See him there!
I am standing right next to you.
The centurion sees the suffering of Jesus, he hears the anguish, and he smells the stench of death.
Are you standing at the foot of the cross? I am standing right next to you. In the suffering of Jesus, in Jesus Himself the centurion saw the Son of God. Do you see Him? I am looking at the same One.
We may have our “big tents” or our “small tents”. While all of our differences are interesting and even necessary, while we understand all the problems with the different ideas, dogmas, world-views, and perspectives, while we may not even like each other at times, I invite you all to my “big tent”. In my big tent, in essence, Christianity is not some eternal idea, or dogma, or world-view. In my big tent, Christianity is a message and way of salvation, the all-determining significance of a historical figure, Jesus the Christ.
Do you not want to join me in my big tent? That is alright. I am still standing. Still seeing. Still hearing. Still smelling. At the foot of the cross.
At the foot of the cross there is no tents, no fences, no circles, no boundaries. I am here…..are you? I am at the foot of the cross? Are you?
I can see you at the foot of the cross and there in the suffering face of Christ, I see God. I look over and there you are and again I see the face of God.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
A Christian is one who experiences God through Jesus Christ as the ultimate value. Jesus is the one, historical, Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the four gospel accounts. A Christian’s experience of God results in a faith that is characterized by devotion and commitment to, love and fear of, and joy in God. A Christian’s faith is expressed through private and social symbolic rites. A Christian’s faith responds to life and God’s Spirit with intentional acts on behalf of the well being of all.
Friday, April 2, 2010
Religion is man's total experience of that which is considered the most important in all of life, is characterized by devotion and commitment to, love and fear of, and joy over this ultimate value, is expressed through private and/or social, symbolic rites, and provides a way of responding to and of understanding the whole of life. - John R King, Jr. January 1978