Christianity seems dishonest to some people. It seems to promise an unreal life, a bubbly, effervescent, happy life. It seems to ignore too much reality. It seems fit only for happy people. Bono, from U2, says that that is what bothered him most about organized Christian religion. It seemed to project only one tone.
On Wednesday nights I often attend a Boys Night Out at a local bar. The ‘Boys’ are all Israeli or American Jews, except for me, and a Turkish guy that sometimes comes. (A past post, Lessons from the Bar, tells more about it.) A friendly, dynamic young rabbi also comes from time to time. He said to me the other night, “So, what are you doing? You got a new gig?” (He’s orthodox, so it’s kind of fun seeing a guy with a long beard, yarmulke, prayer tassels hanging from his belt, talking like this.) So, I gave him a card for The Gathering Church. When he saw the phrase, Skeptics, Seekers, Believers Welcome, he told me a rabbinic story about a European village that had all three categories represented, not only in the same village, but in same person. Then, he asked, “Doesn’t that describe us all?”
This Sunday we will look at some very famous words of Jesus where he invites people who are worn out with religion to “Come to him,” because he doesn’t wear people out. A very interesting invitation, especially when you remember that he also told his disciples that to follow him they would have to “Take up a cross…” In other words, die daily. How can the same faith offer rest, but require death. Hmmm.
Check out Matthew 11:27-30 for Sunday.