Matthew 16: 15 - He said to them (his disciples) "Who do you say that I am?" and Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
John 14:6 ~ Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through me."
I have been struggling, oh let's say for most of my life, with organized religion. What if the Catholics have it all "right" and you can't actually make it past purgatory unless you jump through all their hoops? What if the "big bang" was how it all got started....although evolution offers me nothing as far as a savior, a relationship, or even the "do good" theory. What if the Jehovah's Witnesses have the truth and only 144,000, wearing a white shirt and black tie, are going to literally die happy? I wasn't baptized until I was a teenager. What if I would have died before that? None of my kids have been baptized. Oooops. That's not even to mention the wackos, the extremists, the Methodists, the Buddhists, the Baptists, the Jews, or the Muslims. But the good news is Sunday night I got "saved." Saved from all my questions. Saved from my doubts as of late. Saved from the cult of christianity that judges others and therefore they themselves have the nastiest of labels stamped on them. Saved from the hierarchy of it all from the Pope to Jerry Falwell. In the gutted Grand Village Mall, seated in a circle along with 2500 or so others, I heard the simplest, aimed-straight-at-me-more-of-a-story-rather-than-a-sermon message. The simplicity was striking. I was created in the image of God and therefore I have a god vacuum in me. So when I see a beautiful sunset and it moves my heart, that's me filling a little bit of my hole with the designer God. When I hold a baby, or I am filled with a sense of pride and joy through my children, that's me filling the gap created by the father God. When I ache at the sight of a starving child or even a stray puppy that's the sign he's a loving God. And the second part of the good news is that God is an all-knowing God that knew ahead of time what good 'ole Adam and Eve would do in the garden. And so he lovingly, compassionately, sent his son Jesus to fill the void that is in all of us. Now a ton of religions and individuals, including me, have spent a lot of precious time, money, and sanity trying to shut out the voices that are really just the vacuum crying out to be filled. I’m actually too embarrassed to fill in the blanks. “I spend most of my time____________, I spend more than enough money on_____________, or, I spend a lot of time thinking about____________." Jesus is the square peg that fits in the round hole. Nothing more nothing less. The Jesus of the Bible is an historic character that I don't believe any of the above mentioned religions would deny actually walked the face of the earth. It's what I "do" with him that matters. I have to believe one of two things about him. Either he was who he said he was. Or he was the worlds best actor, imitator, liar, and master of disguise that ever lived.
Sunday night was my leap of faith.