There are several answers to the title question, and they change from time to time. However, my current reason for writing this blog is to give folks a different perspective of someone who claims to be a Christian from the vocal view that seems to dominate so much of our society today.
While I realize that there are different ways of understanding what it means to follow the one we call Jesus the Christ, I find some of the current interpretations in direct opposition to the teachings of the Jesus I know.
That Jesus was inclusive. His circle of friends and followers included people that other religious people thought should be excluded for various reasons. Even some of his own disciples weren’t particularly fond of some of the others!
He was willing to challenge the status quo and to upset tradition. Quite often people said to him, “Well, Moses said…” in an attempt to keep things the way they were. And his response was “Well, yes, Moses did say…but I say…”
He didn’t hold grudges. Even when he was dying a cruel death, he forgave the ones who put him on the cross.
And when he was asked what the most important law was, he said it was the law of love. Love of God, love of others, love of self. Everything that I read and understand about Jesus is captured in that perspective.
And because the Jesus of inclusivity, of reconciliation, of continued growth is the Jesus I choose to follow…the form of Christianity I believe he asks us to follow…I choose to try to live through the lens of love. Do I always succeed? No…but I keep trying.
And because that Jesus of inclusivity and reconciliation is the one I choose to follow, I want you to know that I believe there is a place at the table for you. We may have some challenging discussions…we will not always agree…but you are invited to join with me in this journey of living life through the lens of love.