Tuesday, October 05, 2010

What Christianity means to me

This last week my Holy Conversations group wrestled with the questions,"What difference does Christianity make in your life?" and "Why does it matter that others consider becoming Christians?" What I share below is meant to be the start of a conversation. I do not desire that this be the end of the conversation, just a beginning prompt. Please feel free to post your responses in the comments or at the Holy Conversations Facebook Group. Please read, reflect and comment as you feel comfortable..

Living a Christian life is not something that I claim to have mastered. It is a daily challenge to balance in that place of "love the Lord your God with all your heart, strength, mind and soul and love your neighbor as yourself."

While Jesus says there is no law greater than this commandment - it's at first apparent simplicity makes it easy to read. But when this all encompassing commandment sinks in some more; the hearer begins just how dependent upon God's grace we all need to be to attempt living a 'Christian' life.

It's difficult for me to imagine living without Christianity being the lens I look and live through. I was only two weeks old when I first started attend church with my parents, and have rarely missed worship on Sunday's my entire life. I have in some capacity worked or volunteered in ministry for over twenty years now. I suppose some my say I'm a cradle Christian.

However, there have been times that I attended worship and maintained a Christian lifestyle probably more out of habit than heart. It has been especially in those times, that in one way or another; God has made his presence known and drawn me back into a place of participation and involvement because my heart, soul and mind were equally engaged.

It was a natural connection for me to share these experiences of how God was working and moving in my life with those around me. I did and still do desire to share God's love with the world around me. While in my youth, my methods of sharing were not as refined or listening as it should have been; I honestly can say I really wanted to share the good news with anyone willing to listen.

I know that there are many people that have experienced the down side of judgmental or hypocritical christianity - when right behavior and right thinking becomes a barometer that no one can live up to. I have been on the receiving end of this kind of criticism. Its not a fun or easy place to be.

So for those that have become disenchanted with organized religion, been outed for one shortcoming or questions of faith; I hear you - I've been there and back and even have the t-shirt.

But for the long haul, I have to say that in spite of hurts of disappointments I've experienced in the church; God continues to open the door for continued ministry and a sense of community from inside that reaches beyond the doors of the church. I believe through it all, walking the journey of a Christian life and sharing Christianity with others, sincerity and authenticity is fundamental.

It believe that God desires to see our whole person - questions, faults and all - and love us anyway. The journey of faith is one that lasts a lifetime, and beyond.

Loving God, loving self and loving the world seems to be the place to begin and pursue in living a Christian life and sharing that life with those around me. This kind of Christian life is the only kind that will ultimately make a lasting difference to me and those I share it with.

No comments: