There is a book on my shelf titled “World Religions Made Easy.” The blurb on the cover says it’s an “easy-to-understand pocket reference guide.” Though I don’t take issue with the idea of trying to make the religions of the world more accessible to the student or seeker, the whole idea of boiling down people’s belief systems into tables, charts, and blurbs seems a little much. Take, for example, Christianity, which appears as a 7-column centerfold! Oy Vey!
How well do you know the faith you confess? Better yet, how well do you know this Jesus whom you follow? It’s one thing to take a static, chart-driven reference guide approach to the religions of the world, but the reality is that the loving and dynamic relationship of the Father with his creation through his son Jesus is not a chart or graph. And the fullness of it definitely can’t be captured in a pull-out!
In one sense, the message of the cross is “easy,” Christ suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God…. That’s 1 Peter 3:18, NKJ version. The work of Jesus saves us. Boom. Done. Alleluia! Amen!
But once having been reconciled to God through Christ, we are called into this vibrant, dynamic relationship of following Jesus, growing in faith, and learning to love and serve our neighbor. It’s not so much that the relationship is hard or complex, but it isn’t easy. And that’s a good thing.
Think about those “real” relationships you have face to face with people—not like the static ones on social media. The real ones take time and effort but also yield great results—everything from friendship and laughter to comfort in times of sorrow or trial. There is just something about being with people who love you—that’s what matters. The dynamic is different and better, but not easier.
I applaud any effort to make Jesus more accessible to people, but as much as we want to present easy access to Jesus and what Christianity is, there is more to it than information.
As you consider the dynamic relationship you have with Jesus, what spiritual practices encourage your relationship with him? Are there specific scriptures that remind you of his real presence in your life? Similar to how you invest in your friendships, how do you invest in your relationship with Christ? It’s not east, but well worth it!
In the Love of Jesus,