A Faith That Goes Nowhere Is....Well...Kinda Lame
There is nothing that frustrates me more than a static faith; especially a faith based on the life and teachings of Jesus.
What do I mean by that? Mother T's quote above should give you a hint...
I honor and value those areas of faith that center us on meditation, prayer, and introspection. In a hectic, stressful world we need those moments of quiet and renewal to refuel our batteries. Jesus knew this all to well, and it is those moments that we read about in the Gospels when we hear that Jesus went off by himself to pray - usually on a mountain or in the desert - to get away from the crowds and get (as we would say) some quality "Me" time.
There are some faith traditions that value a life of solitary prayer and meditation; a life cut off from the stresses and distractions of the world in order to attain a certain level of peace and centeredness.
I get that. I honor that.
Yet I'm a follower of Jesus, and that's not what Jesus was all about. Jesus was about getting "out there", reaching people, touching people, engaging with people, and changing hearts and minds along the way. In the Gospels he uses the word "Follow" 16 times, and the word "Go" about 150 times per Gospel. Matthew's Gospel ends with a Great Commission that beckons us to get out there in the world in his name and do something...
Jesus was action-oriented, and challenged us to be and do likewise.
That isn't always easy, or safe, or comfortable. It means we often have to stretch ourselves, step outside our boxes, push our envelopes, overcome our private prejudices and fears and engage on levels that we might otherwise not; or flat out don't want to.
BUT, if we testify to be followers of Jesus than we can't be content to go to church, enjoy worship, have some coffee and cookies and catch up with friends, then go home and basically leave it all behind until the next Sunday.
Our task, our challenge, our mission is to take what we learn from Jesus on Sunday morning and put it into loving, living action the rest of the week. Whether that be with our families, our co-workers, the organizations we involve ourselves in, with the familiar neighbor or the stranger. It is a life of bold, loving service.
A faith in Jesus is not a static one. If it is, we're horribly missing the point.
Most of what Jesus asks of us are verbs: Love, Forgive, Preach, Teach, Heal, Share, Include, Embrace, Touch, Advocate...
How often do we truly do that?
Follow - Go - Be. Together.
Imagine the possibilities...