Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A summer journey

Summer break has officially begun so maybe now I’ll have time to blog again! I’m currently reading, The Cross Examination of Jesus Christ. This book has challenged me in so many areas. Right off the bat, in the introduction, the challenge began! The author, Randy Singer, makes this statement.

“A strange and uncomfortable thing happened as I began writing this book. The more I studied Christ’s confrontations with the Pharisees, the more I recognized myself in some of these questions. I discovered that some of the folks really loved God but tried to show it with activity rather than relationship. A holy busyness – that felt familiar… I found religious leaders who didn’t spend much time with those outside their own circle of friends, who never dined with tax collectors and sinners. … That’s when I discovered this mind-bending truth: if I want to be like Jesus, I must first realize how much I am already like the Pharisees. In God’s paradoxical way, that humbling realization is the first step toward becoming less like the Pharisees we loathe and more like the Savior we love. All of our mental gymnastics and convoluted questions can’t make it any other way.”

Well, that was a lot to think about! I have spent much of my spiritual walk trying to put as much distance between me and the Pharisees as possible, and here this author is suggesting that in order to become like Jesus, I must first come to terms with how much I am like them! It was more than I could comprehend so I put the book down for several weeks. Well, I’ve picked it up again and it continues to challenge me around every corner! I’ve come to recognize some of my Pharisaical ways and it’s really shaking up my world. I have come to grips with requirements I had attached to the teachings of Jesus. The “right (and only) ways” I had decided or accepted from my heritage of how to relate, worship, and commune with God that Jesus never said anything about in all his teaching about God. It’s going to be a summer of discovery. I’ll share as I go, but please be patient. I can only digest this book in small meals. It’s that kind of life-changing, mind-challenging, heart-reviving book.