There are a lot of different ways to summarize the Christian faith. Perhaps the best way is to simply state that it is about loving God and, because God cares about others, also loving our neighbors as ourselves.
What follows is my effort to dig into that idea a little more – my own feeble, little theology. It is a work in progress, so feel free to comment or ask questions about it if you like.
Our deepest instincts tell us that something is not right in the cosmos. Death, war, famine, oppression, disease. Things aren’t supposed to be this way.
What if those instincts are right?
What if, even now the entire cosmos is moving steadily toward a SECOND big bang, a new birth – the likes of which we cannot even imagine – one which sets everything right, at once consuming everything that it was before and transforming both heaven AND earth into what they were always meant to be?
What if you had a chance to live in that new cosmos – with a new body that is as different from the one you inhabit right now as a massive oak is different from its seed? One that is more real, not less, than the one you inhabit at this moment? Immortal, eternal.
What if all of this talk about God loving the world wasn’t some abstract notion? What if God really does care about what happens on our planet? What if he wants to set straight all of the things that have gone wrong – starting with our individual,self-centered, destructive tendencies, but ultimately reaching the biggest problems of the present age – poverty, war, disease, and – ultimately – even death?
What if he sent someone not only show us the way into this new cosmos, but to provide us with the power to actually become new people – people who are capable of living in harmony with each other and with the earth in this new cosmos?
What if Jesus’ followers were right? What if everything they said about him after his death – about him being “in charge” of the cosmos, about him giving us access to God, about him having been raised in a beautiful, glorious body – what if everything they said was right?
What if by recognizing that Jesus is in charge, by living under his authority, we could step into God’s new world – now, in a more limited way, but later in ways that we can scarcely imagine?
What if…even now, like yeast in dough or seedlings that are beginning to sprout, signs of God’s new world are beginning to pop up here and there?
What would it be worth to you to discover that world? What would you give up for it? Would you look for it, ask about it, seek it, pray for it?
What if God is saying to us all: Trust me. Trust that in Jesus, I’m showing you a new way to live – a way that can and will change things now, but that will also make way for the birth of a new cosmos?
This is what I’m counting on. All of my eggs are in this basket: That God has put Jesus in charge of the cosmos – and that, by following in his ways – we can all find complete redemption – of our personalities, our souls, our bodies, and our world.