WHY JESUS? It's a good question. Lots of good people can do lots of good things to make the world a better place. Why do you have to believe in a crazy God story-- or join a church where there's bound to be hypocrites (Kaw Prairie's no exception to the sinful human condition). Thomas Aquinas, an ancient follower of Jesus, once said, “To those who believe, no explanation is necessary. To those who do not, no explanation will suffice.”
It's hard to try and explain why Jesus matters to someone who has no idea, when no explanation will suffice. So what is it that compels so many people to embrace this far-out, bizarre story of this guy who shows up claiming to be the Son of God, who annoys both the liberals and the conservatives, who dies by capital punishment, then who supposedly rises from the dead--and yet these people believe every word? For even science-savvy, emotionally un-needy, critical thinkers--the question soon becomes: Why believe in Jesus at all?
Does Jesus make everything easier? No. Unfortunately, believing in Jesus does not eliminate credit card debt, assure the Royals will win the division, or get you the man (or woman) of your dreams. In many ways, following Jesus makes things more difficult. Suddenly the way you see the world changes. Healthier priorities emerge, and self-serving priorities recede. A new way of thinking takes their place. Besides, saying you believe is not always the most popular thing. Sometimes confessing your faith can make others see you differently--especially for folks who see the frequent hypocrisy, judgmentalism, arrogance or idiocy of Christians all the time.
At the same time, following Jesus also means trusting in God to help make our way clear, to walk with us when we struggle, to help us when we grieve, and to celebrate when we're victorious. I'm comforted to know I'm not alone in this life, and that I have a relationship with God who walks with me and loves me even at my worst.
Does following Jesus answer all your questions? Heck, no. Unfortunately, those who have a faith journey can find themselves with more questions than when they began. And those Christ-followers who haven't become very Christ-like tend to raise more questions than their theology answers. No, following Jesus is not a “black and white,” “just do it this way,” “here are the rules” sort of life. It can be confusing and difficult. Black and white can easily become gray.
But as we follow Jesus, he gives us room to wrestle. You see, Jesus is the one doing the work. We are just doing our best to witness it. Our love is not dependent on what we know or who we know, but on the fact that we know God's promises, and we're known by Jesus.
So why Jesus? To be honest, I often ask the same question. It seems so odd that God would confront the world--and embrace the world-- through this one clever 1st century Palestinian Jewish Rabbi. There'd seem to be more efficient ways of making the world a better place than by doing it with ancient manuscripts and quirky religious people. But God seems to know better than me. Don’t you see? Here we are, 2000 years later, and we're still talking about Him. Somehow, this Jesus thing was the gift God gave to us that changed everything. Somehow Jesus made such a mark on the world that it cannot be ignored. For some reason, Jesus DOES matter.
At Kaw Prairie, despite being full of both educated, critical-thinking types--and street-wise, no-BS types, too-- we really do believe that God did something world-changing when He became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:1). We believe in Jesus--His teachings, His miracles, His resurrection, and His power today. And we know--most of us very intimately--that He changes lives with His love.
Come hang out with us for a while, or visit any authentic Christian church for that matter. Meet the people who gather and worship there. And start to feel that warm, undeniable whisper of the Holy Spirit: which is the age-old love of God, who's longing to change your life with His love.