In preparing for this summer’s sermon series, “I am Christian: An Exploration of the I Am Statements in John’s Gospel,” I’ve thought a lot about what it means to be Christian in this moment. The conclusion I’ve come to may or may not be what you’d expect.
In years past I might have come up with a theological answer first and a practical one second. For example I might have said that Christians must believe that Jesus was the incarnate Son of God and live accordingly. While this is still true on some level, theology is less important to me these days.
With the public understanding of Christianity being what it is in these days of fear and division, it is important to share a different understanding of what it means to be Christian. This is not to say that there are not devout, loving people who uphold traditional Christian theology; there are. However, these are not the folx people think of when they hear the word Christian.
Now I am more inclined to emphasize behavior over belief than I was earlier in my ministry. Wherever we might fall on the theological continuum, how we follow Jesus out in the world is what matters.
Jesus taught love of God, self, and neighbor. He also cared deeply for the most vulnerable in society. Jesus re-membered those whom society intentionally forgot. Wouldn’t it be great if today’s church were known for the same?
During these hot, dry summer months, perhaps we can all be more intentional about how we follow Jesus. How can we be more loving – of God, self, neighbor, and Creation? What can we do to re-member those the world has intentionally forgotten?
How can we respond to the question of what it means to be Christian with our actions more than our words?
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