Monday, November 10, 2014

Our Role as Christians

Our role as Christians has never been to tell people that they are sinners and to repent and be saved. That's a narrative that is narrow and false. It is paternalistic and judgmental, claiming what belongs to God – judgment – for ourselves. It's a Baal golden calf moment.

The arrival of Jesus Christ changed that narrative to a new one of grace and gratitude. We are called as Children of God. Our role is to be the Beloved Children, depending on God for our everything, and loving our brothers and sisters because they have been created by the God of Love, just like us.

Our role as Christians is to share the Good News of God in Jesus Christ. God’s grace is so overwhelmingly great that it overcomes us, and we sometimes falter in our response. God invites us to share grace in the form of lovingkindness with everyone we encounter, especially those in any kind of need or trouble, both the physical needs like living in poverty or illness and the emotional, psychological, spiritual troubles like doubt, fear, and existential loneliness.

God has invited us to a heavenly banquet right here on earth, to join other members of Creation to share in the delights of light and life. It's a really cool banquet, because even as guests, we are encouraged to bring additional guests. Imagine that! We get to bring other people to share in the deliciousness of the heavenly banquet here on earth!

Our Creator is so unbelievably creative that s/he leads people from all over her/his creation to find her/him in ways that extend beyond our human comprehension. When someone finds the Creator in another language or religious system, that points out two things: (1) we are created with different cultures that arrive at different understandings of the Creator and Creation, and (2) our human shortcomings reflected in our inability to talk about God in understandable ways with each other. But God the Creator is cool with that. God is mighty enough to comprehend and apprehend everything, and we, individually, in our present condition and circumstances, are called to come into the banquet.

Something worth striving for is to walk in the light of Christ. Sure, we take detours and stop for a while, but the light of Christ is always in front of us if we just choose to lift up our eyes and spirits to see him. I love the image of a wet dog that shakes itself to begin the drying off process. We humans can take a lesson from that wet dog and shake ourselves after we’ve stumbled into the puddle, to begin walking in the light again.