“re – ligio = reconnect – true religion connects life in this world with the life of the One who first created it and then redeemed it.”
Every time I hear judgements coming from the Christian community I cringe. Like when that guy did that Koran burning down in the southern United States. Or when that church would go to graveside memorial services to protest with really mean signs about the actions or deeds of the deceased. Or when Christians will straight up call other people abominations. It goes on, and on and on. I cringe every single time. It makes me embarrassed. I can’t help but wonder if this may be a reason why people ‘do not have ears to hear’ or eyes to see. It makes me long to scream, “the story is much more than that.”
It’s as if we are still stuck in this ‘modern’ concept thinking that Jesus followers are in a completely separate, isolated place, where the evilness of the rest of the world cannot reach us. It assumes a complete separation between heaven and earth. And the only way people know any different is when the judgements from those Christians in that special Jesus place start raining down on the lesser folks who just don’t get it. Heck, they may even be ‘abominations.’
Only, Jesus prayed ‘your will be done, in earth as it is in heaven.’ During the disciples prayer in John Jesus prayed ‘I’m not asking you to take them out of the world…’ Jesus is talking about a collision between heaven and earth.
It is important to make known the collision between this world and ‘the life of the One who first created it and then redeemed it.’ This is why the story is important. This is why I am so passionate about exploring what sharing of a faith so beautiful looks like.
Evangelism, speaking faith, sharing life together is grounded in the assumption that God is active on this planet. That God is a God of love. Love pays attention to the humanity in people. Love listens for the soul. It puts a face to the ‘issue’ or ‘topic’ or ‘insert other de-humanizing language here.’ I have engaged discussions that were completely changed by merely putting a face, or a story, or a name to the very human experience of life.
Love changes everything. Love changes the way we engage the story. Love changes the way we participate with God. Love changes the way we share about the redemptive collision between heaven and earth. Love changes the way we seek faithfulness. It’s messy, it’s painful, it is horribly frustrating, and we especially don’t always get it right. Love is on the ground and deeply entrenched within the collision. Right where God is.
What about you? How do you wish for the Christian community to share/frame the reconnection/collision between heaven and earth?