I was just pondering the staggering diversity within Christianity. Someone once told me that Hinduism has no core theology that all Hindus must subscribe to. One might be able to say the same thing about the Christian community. The array of churches teach vastly different understandings of the Bible, Jesus, the appropriate Christian life, etc. Each have different requirements of their adherents from celibacy to full embrace of sex; different tenets from "literal" Bible interpretations to more contextual, historical & metaphorical understandings; from Jesus to being the only son of God to Jesus being the son of God just as are others, only different in his fullness of Oneness; from the historical Jesus to the Cosmic Christ; from immersion Baptism to sprinkling; on and on. Just go to any big bookstore & look at the shelves bulging with books from a huge variety of perspectives.
As I look back on the history of our religion, I see that there was diversity from the very beginning. Paul & James disagreed. Apostles went out into the world teaching from their own perspectives. Converts understood & spoke through their cultures & understandings. Disagreements arose between the Trinitarians & the Arians. The Gnostics grew & were opposed. Whoever were in power were the "orthodox" & whoever were out of power were the "heretics," in a seemingly never ending swing from one to the other. One day you were "in" & the next "out" & the next "in," etc.
Yet within the sometimes heated arguments created by such diversity, something amazing lurks. Something amazing compelled the people of the 1st century to give all to tell of the life-changing happenings in their lives when they came in contact with Christ. The first were poor, but after awhile the more wealthy were touched too. Christ quickened within each person the dormant spirituality unfed by any other.
Today's hungry souls reach out to find the touch of Christ too. Far too few find that touch. So many are turned off by churchiosity, religiosity, political messes & immorality, etc. in some of the visible church. The soul cries out. I hear so many people say things like -- Where is the spirituality? I hunger to touch the hem of the garment, to be touched by Christ, but I don't know the way. Who is there to show me?
Sometimes I think God has to find us. The rigormorale that many go through doesn't seem to lead them anywhere except in circles. For me, God found me when I was a child. Jesus became my closest friend. Perhaps what needs to be done is to become available to found. If you are wanting to be found, maybe this little prayer will help.
God of all, I open all of myself to You. I come ready & willing for You to find me. I am available to know Your Presence. I invite Christ into my very depths. Lead me to that life-changing touch of Christ. Lead me to experience what those awakened souls in the 1st century knew by Christ being quickened within them. Hear the collective cry of the humans on earth and send Christ to each heart that hungers. Let this be a time of great spiritual awakening. Thank You for hearing my prayer. I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ & seal it with the ancient seal of faith as I say Amen, Amen & Amen.
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