A few years ago, my grandson, Max, when his sister Sophia was a new baby, was pretty jealous of sharing his parents’ attention with this newcomer.
Max : “Dad, you are a person.” “Yes.”.
“Mum you are a person.” “Yes.”
“And I am a person!” “Yes.”
“But Sophia – a sausage, burning.” Smiles.
Still makes their Dad chuckle.
So what is a person? Yes, much more than a sausage! Even a sausage burning.
For Jesus, the one whom God sent to show us what He is like, the most important thing was meeting people. Talking to them and showing that he actually cared that they were there. That they were persons. He heard the cry of their hearts. He entered into their lives.
I like what a friend wrote recently about music and song, wonderful though they are: “You may be the only person who connects with someone on a personal level who then shows them that someone actually cares. This, to me, is more important than all the songs you can write, sing or play.”
People really want to know that you care about them. We so need to get to know them on a deeper level and create true relationships with them. We need to laugh with them, cry with them, eat and drink with them.
So where did Jesus meet with people in his days as a Jewish man? Yes, in the synagogue, as he was a Jew. But in the synagogue, it inevitably led to controversy with the strict religious, or conflict over his teaching and then forcible removal. So it was mostly on the street, in the open, at dinner parties, weddings, funerals and especially with his followers and ‘sinners’ over meals.
And, he doesn’t suggest his followers attend anything like a ‘worship service’ or a church or to go to a synagogue service! Nor were they told to create such human constructions, but to simply go the houses of “people of peace” and accept their hospitality.
After his death and rising and the out-pour of the Holy Spirit, Jesus’ followers continued to meet in Jerusalem in homes and at public places to be part of a whole new community of the Spirit. It was all about loving, caring relationships instead of laws, rituals and legal requirements. Real persons.
That’s because Jesus and his Dad are persons. We also are persons ‘made in his image’, wonderfully designed and wondrously equipped to be God’s friends. And so God still meets persons on the street, in the open, at dinner parties, weddings, funerals and especially with his followers over meals.
Why do we so often deny our uniqueness, our special-ness, our design, the purpose of our existence here on Earth? Why do we continue to deny the greatest matter of all? Why do we keep on ignoring such a gracious and welcoming Dad?
I would welcome your answer.
Aside from the obvious answer, that there remains no real and compelling evidence that any of your assertions have any basis in reality at all. The central tenets of Christianity are abhorrent. No, I think it’s very much a good thing that there is no real reason to believe in the preaching of the church. Created sick — Commanded to be well. And there are totalitarian insinuations to back this up if its appeal should fail. Christians,declare me redeemed by a human sacrifice that occurred thousands of years before I was born. I didn’t ask for it, and would willingly have foregone it, but there it is: I’m claimed and saved whether I wish it or not. Not unlike an unwanted, compulsory mortgage. And if I refuse the unsolicited gift? Well, there are some vague mutterings about an eternity of torment for my ingratitude. No Thanks, I choose reality.
Thanks for responding. However there is real evidence of the reality of persons. Here’s one : You are I can communicate to each other. We can also reach out in respect and generosity to one another. Jesus of Nazareth is my reason for saying what I did. With his arrival here, everything has changed for the world.
The central tenets of Jesus and his emissaries consist of trust, hope and above all, love. From these have emerged goodwill, rescue of abandoned babies, concern for human rights, hospitals, universities, medicine, science, trade union movements, workplace safety, slave trade abolition, women’s rights, free speech … I could go on. I don’t think these are abhorrent.
I can understand when you talk about the “preaching of the church”. Much harm has been done by well meaning people. However we need to go to the words of Jesus and his immediate followers, and read what they claimed before much of what they said was subverted, mainly by “totalitarian institutions”.
And I would not declare you redeemed, because as you say you “did not ask for it”.
“Created sick — Commanded to be well”
Not so. Created perfect, completely. Self-destructed by choice.
You are your own worst enemy, you already know that.
Unable to put ourselves back together, only our Creator can do it and He wants to because He knows you completely and loves you. God wants to heal you, but he isn’t going to force you to do anything you don’t want to do. There is no command, never was. Just an invitation. You’ve already made the choice to be broken, only you can make the choice to be whole again.
The ‘sacrifice’ – that was the justice component. We broke and continue to break the laws that God made for our benefit. If you broke into someones house and stole their tv, and got caught, you might go to jail for a while. Is that unjust? Is it unfair that there was a law against what you did? Or unfair that you stole the tv? You and I are law-breakers, but you already know that, in your heart. God didn’t want to send you to jail, so He paid the penalty Himself. You can now be reconciled completely to your Creator, who loves you, and be healed, or you can continue with the status quo until you die and go to the jail that was never intended to hold you.
The only condition? You have to let God be God to you again. He won’t do you wrong. And no you don’t have to go to church, never did. Don’t have to pay money to anyone, don’t need to say your Hail Mary’s or anything like that. That was all stuff power-hungry people added later. But get a copy of the bible, read it for yourself. Its all you’ll need, because it will point you to God and He’s waiting for you to come home.
As for ‘evidence’, you already know God is real, but google John Lennox for example. He’s debated Dawkin’s etc and written quite a few good books in response to all of the arguments you may have heard.