So if you don’t go to my church, then…
1. I am so sorry (haha)
2. It’s okay because you can still listen to our pastor’s awesome teaching by clicking here.
Between the article I talked about in yesterday’s post and last week’s sermon on Oct. 9th, I am still thinking of this whole interesting-vs-interested thing. The more I thought about it, the more the whole thing seems to go with what our pastor was teaching about. He basically said that Christianity is not the one true religion in the world. (Don’t freak out, keep reading…) As far as a religion goes, one is just about as true (and useless) as another, if all you’re looking for is a religion to affiliate yourself with. Heck, if that’s all I was after, I would go with the easiest one to follow. You know, just to make sure I could get all the stuff “right.”
But I wasn’t looking for a religion when I stumbled into what resembled one. I wasn’t looking for something or someone interesting. I had already found that many times over. One of my many majors in college (told you I was ADD!) was comparative religion. I found all religions interesting, and their leaders and gurus the most interesting of all. I mean seriously…the Buddha? Interesting dude. A prince who had everything and had been kept from ever seeing any suffering or negative anything? Then one day he sees some unsavory stuff and renounces the whole bit just to sit under a tree for many days in order to figure out the meaning of life? That’s a pretty cool story, don’t you think? Very interesting. And Jainism? Man, that one really interests me. The fact that the “do no harm” motto really goes the distance in that religion just puts me in awe. A Jain is charged with doing no harm to life. Any life. Can you imagine going through life never killing a spider or a mosquito? I couldn’t make it one stinkin’ day on that program. But…it’s very interesting. I have always been interested, and maybe perhaps even a bit fascinated by people who seemed like they really could devote their lives to something outside of what they could see. I thought they were all a bunch of wackos, too, but hey…they were interesting.
Although I had enjoyed studying and learning all kinds of details about the world’s religions, I knew I could never actually be one of those wackos. I mean, seriously…that stuff was interesting, but a bunch of rituals and chants and stuff?? That’s nothing to write home about. Besides, I was much too rational for all that nonsense.
Enter Jesus. I wasn’t looking for Him. I wasn’t out to become a Christian, that’s for dang sure. In fact, I thought of all the religions in the world, that was the last one I would ever be caught dead associating with. Truly. But I was looking to prove that Jesus was a myth. I was looking for proof that my friend, who had said some hard words to me about this Jesus, was actually being brainwashed into some weirdo Christian cult. Seriously, that’s how my journey started…before I started to get it…I slowly saw that my friend was not even involved in a religion. He had a strange and beautiful relationship with something…with Someone that I couldn’t see. I started to see that other people had this relationship with Jesus too…and it was different than the religious stuff I had seen before. In fact, the two seemed to have little to do with each other.
Now I had always thought Jesus was pretty interesting, as much as any other religious figure, just not interesting enough to sit for three hours in a dress on Sunday mornings when I’d rather be sleeping in. But what I came to find out was that He was the only one of these “religious” folks who was interested in people. In fact, it seemed He was rather interested in me. And I was way, way cool with that. I fell in love with a quickness, and in very small ways every year since then, I’ve realized that He is still interested in me and in everything I do, say, think… After all, He created me. He created plans for me…things that only I can do. He is crazy about me and can’t get enough of me and can’t wait to get back to me! And guess what?? He doesn’t even care for religion! He loves His people and hates to see them all twisted up in religion to the point where they don’t notice how interested He is in their lives and they don’t have time to be interested in Him. He rejects the ideas that some “religious” folks have that say you have to do more, be more, act perfect in order to be on the A List. Not at all. He’s interested in theives. He’s interested in people who sell their bodies to make a living. He’s interested in people who sleep with their friend’s wife then murder to cover it up. He’s interested in people who cheat on their taxes. And people who don’t. Jesus is interested in YOU and in me. That’s the difference between Christianity as a religion and as a beautiful expression of God’s great love for us. We have to let everyone know that while Jesus may be interesting, He is interested in every last detail of the lives of every last one of us.