“For God so loved the world, He gave His only Son…”
I make a habit of striking up conversations while standing in line at the grocery store. It helps to pass the time, provides opportunity to meet someone new and, perhaps, share the faith. Not long ago I was chatting with a woman who, upon learning I was a pastor, made the statement, “I’m very spiritual and religious but I don’t go to church.” She went on to describe her spirituality. She spoke quite generally about some sort of god and spirit and feeling and nature. It was rather vague and subjective. I replied by saying that although a pastor, I was not very spiritual or religious. She was rather surpised at this. “Then what do you talk about?” , she asked. ”Jesus”, I answered. “Everything we are looking for in what we call religion and spirituality are found in Jesus.” Before she could respond it was time to check out. As she pushed her cart away she looked back at me with a slight smile and a somewhat puzzled expression. I considered it a good days work!
The essence of the Christian message is this; “For God so loved the world, He gave His only Son…”. This ought to be good news to serious seekers after God. The fact that it is not calls into question just how serious all this talk about seeking God really is. Some sort of god on my terms perhaps, but the True God? I’m not so sure.
God has taken the guesswork out of religion and spirituality and has revealed Himself with pinpoint accuracy in Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus is the human face of God. In Jesus and His gospel God seeks us. What Jesus says and does are the words and deeds of God. Read the gospels. See for yourself. Here is a man passionate about justice, set firmly against evil, eager to be with the outclassed and the outcast, available to all, full of grace, determined to make all things new, brimming over with truth, so much a part of God they are one, big enough to carry suffering, even death, so committed in love to the sinner that even death could not hold Him. What’s not to like?
So, you can have a vague spirituality cobbled together out of, well, whatever. Or you can have Jesus. Friend of sinners, Prince of Peace, the Living Water, the Bread of Life, the Good Shepherd, the One who seeks the lost. I could go on but you get the point. There is nothing vague about Jesus. The faith, hope, love, grace, mercy and forgiveness that are in Him are as real and refreshing as rain. And they are for you!
“May the peace of God that passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.”