Friday, December 2, 2011

What Is Christianity?

What is Christianity? Is it some stale set of values for upper-class white people? Is it a conduct book of societal taboos and mores? A dead carcass of Victorian ideals?

No. It is a living thing. An invincible hope of tempered steel that grows stronger under each blow; an unsinkable faith in the midst of heart-crushing circumstances; an incomprehensible love that dies in agonies of compassion for those who spit in its face. It transcends time, culture, socioeconomic class, gender, ethnicity and mental capacity. Christianity is for the mentally handicapped, the soul steeped in sin from infancy, the fundamentalist zealot, the pristine million-dollar-man and the rotten slum-dweller; it is for the Thai girl shivering in the dark waiting for her next customer; it is for the Amazonian boy whose body is a feverish battleground of fire and water, it is for the Grecian man contemplating the brevity of life amidst century-old ruins; it is for the middle-class American woman whose biggest decision is what to wear.

The beauty of Christ is that He meets us where we are. He wades into the miry stench and leads us out of the muck. He tenderly removes the rancid idols from our clenched hands, cleanses the putrid impurities from our pores, and clothes us in His righteousness. And when we cross our arms like rebellious two-year-olds or plug our ears like immature teens, He smiles and showers us with grace anyway.

Christ blesses the people with their book of rules and lists and duties they've been checking off since birth, and He blesses the day-old Christian who knows no more of theology than the mysteries of the universe. Christ blesses the hard-working as well as the prodigal. And when we in our twisted, egotistical sense of justice whine that it isn't fair because they have only worked one hour when we have born the heat of the day, He smiles and replies gently, "'Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?'" --Matthew 20:13-15

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares
the LORD." --Isaiah 55:8.

Praise God.