Many Bibles have the words of Jesus written in red to set them apart. Many traditions rise and stand every time the Gospels are read. It’s not to say that the other words in the Bible don’t matter. In fact it’s just the opposite – Jesus did not come to abolish the Old Testament, but to complete it. Jesus is the fulfillment of everything God is doing in the world, the climax of the Bible, the pinnacle of history. He came to show the world what God is like with skin on, in a way we can emulate and follow.
Jesus is the lens through which we understand the Bible… and through which we understand the world we live in. As you read the words of Jesus, you get the deep sense that he did not just come to prepare us to die but to teach us how to live.
Sadly, Christians have not always followed Jesus very well. It’s startling to think of how easily we forgotten the real Christ of our Christianity. Often we have worshipped Jesus without doing the things he said. Sometimes we’ve even become known for the very hypocrisy and arrogance for which Jesus scolded the religious elite of his time, and we have not always been known for the love and grace that magnetized the marginalized to Christ…
But there is a new and beautiful movement stirring around the world. It is a movement of folks, young and old, who want a Christianity that looks like Jesus again. It is a movement convinced that Jesus did not just come to prepare us to die, but to teach us how to live. For us, being a Christian has as much to do with life before death as life after death. It is a movement that refuses to use our faith as a ticket into heaven and a license to ignore the hells around us. It is a movement that is committed to building the world Jesus dreamed of – a world free of violence and poverty, a world where the last are first and the first are last, where the poor are blessed and the peacemakers are the children of God. It is a movement that believes in resurrection and lives in light of the promise that life conquers death and love triumphs over hatred. It is a movement of people who are reading the Gospels with fresh eyes and saying, “What if Jesus really meant the stuff he said?”
YES! I am a red-letter Christian. I commit my life to Jesus, and dedicate myself to trying to live as if He meant the things He said.
joined so far