It seems to me that it is a minority that ever gets the true and full Gospel—in any denomination. Most of us just keep worshiping Jesus and arguing over the right way to do it. The amazing thing is that Jesus never once says, “Worship me!” whereas he frequently says, “Follow me” (e.g., Matthew 4:19).
Christianity is a lifestyle—a way of being in the world that is simple, non-violent, shared, and loving. However, we made it into an established “religion” (and all that goes with that) and avoided the lifestyle change itself. One could be warlike, greedy, racist, selfish, and vain in most of Christian history, and still believe that Jesus is one’s “personal Lord and Saviour” or continue to receive Sacraments in good standing. The world has no time for such silliness anymore. The suffering on Earth is too great.
Richard Rohr, adapted from CAC Foundation Set: Gospel Call to Compassionate Action (Bias from the Bottom) and Contemplative Prayer (CD, DVD, MP3)
Bring the whole of your life under the ordering of the spirit of Christ. Are you open to the healing power of God’s love? Cherish that of God within you, so that this love may grow in you and guide you. Let your worship and your daily life enrich each other. Treasure your experience of God, however it comes to you. Remember that Christianity is not a notion but a way.
We have become so used to reciting creeds, learning catechisms, and assenting to statements of belief, that we have nearly forgotten that “the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” (2 Corinthians 3.6) Organised religion can be a place of great comfort and safety—but it can be a place where Christ is hidden as much as revealed, for it is the Spirit of whom Jesus said, “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.” (John 16.12-15)
I can’t help but feel that for some people, or at certain times in people’s lives, all that is needed is silence and community. We are so much the creatures of our own words, so conditioned by the words that continually surround us, that we cannot think till we have the words for our thoughts, nor know what we have thought till we have the words to describe it. God calls us to be still, to rest in him (Psalm 46.10; Psalm 91.1). Only so can we hear the one whose native voice is silence, who speaks “in silence and in truth” (John 4.23-24)
I’m coming to long increasingly for this stillness, thirst for it really, with a kind of irresistible thirst. With the Samaritan woman (John 4.7-15), I long for that living water…