Thursday, July 2, 2009

BEN : The words of Christ . . . .

The words of Christ are strangely absent from the practice of our faith. Growing up on my end of the pew, so many were willing to talk about Paul that Jesus seemed largely ignored. It’s as if we determined that knowing Jesus by proxy was just as good as knowing Jesus himself.
The beginning of this new liturgical season brought a new challenge to mind. Instead of reading the Old Testament and Epistle readings associated with each Daily Office schedule, I have chosen to only read and meditate on the Gospel reading. I have spent the Year so far following the events of our savior’s life, following him from promise to Pentecost, yet it occurred to me that I had heard him speak very little during that time.
If I am to possess any level of sincerity in my claim to be a follower of Christ, I ought wrestle with the Jesus of the Gospels, the One who is strangely silent in my Sunday School education.
Nearly every Sunday, I hear about his death and resurrection. Every Sunday I hear the message captured in John 3:16 in one fashion or another. Not that there is anything wrong with those moments and thoughts. Christ’s death and resurrection was the fulfillment of God’s plan of redemption. But if this is the only part of his life we are going to recount, does that mean the balance of his life after birth and until death was inconsequential? Was it time wasted just being human?
And if these final moments are so important, why do the Gospels and Jesus himself spend so little time on his death and resurrection?
Now, there are some questions worth wrestling with, I think.


Fran said...

Amen. I reached the same conclusion a couple of years ago. After 2 years of immersion in the Gospels, I'm now ready to move on to the rest of scripture. We have neglected the teachings of Christ in our modern "Christianity."

robert benson and ben stroup said...

Fran, it is good to know that we share the same feelings about the attention some of Christ's Church pays to the words of Christ, at least those words that remain.

I have experienced confusion, excitement, hope, and despair as I've centered my reading on the Gospels. There are moments I wish I could pause the dialogue and discuss what just happened or what was said with the One Who said or did that which is on the page. He is not quite as easy to predict or interpret as some might have us think or believe.

Please do stop by again.

Blessings, Ben.