In the midst of all the political debate over amendment one, and the “defenders of truth,” I find a solace in reminding myself who Jesus is. Jesus, you know, the one who is, The Christ! I think that Paul found himself returning to The Christ again and again as well:
What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work. So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that. Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God’s grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily (Galatians 2:19-21 MSG).
Love turned Paul into a servant of Jesus Christ! Love has and is transforming my own life everyday. Religion almost destroyed my life, literally. I often think of the woman at the well and how her heart must have been overwhelmed by the love that Christ offered her. All the “sinners” throughout the New Testament who, The Christ, sought out and loved with deep compassion! The religious were ready to throw stones of judgement and ridicule, it is written…
I am not a theologian and would not even begin to offer a theological explanation to this dilemma; however, I am a witness to the life transforming power of Gods love and amazing grace! Religion destroys. Religion shames and blames ~ shame leads people to hopelessness and worthlessness. Shame attacks the core of our identity and removes any hope or motivation toward transformation because no matter how hard you try, you will never measure up!
Love embraces and reminds us who we are! Love reminds us of our shared humanity. Love gives us courage to make ourselves vulnerable before God and others for connection ~ relationship! We were created for relationship! It does not take a theologian to understand this. Is that not the beauty of the Gospel? Love. Simply love ~ with a child-like faith we seek with all of our heart and we find Jesus. He simply loved humanity and was willing to sacrifice his life in order to have a relationship. Love, mercy, grace…
[ God Is Love ] My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God (1 John 4: 7-10 MSG).