Slow your breathing and become aware of the taking in and letting out of your breath. Focus on putting things aside so you will be open to what God is saying to you today.
I teach a World Religions class at a local community college. At the very beginning of each semester, I introduce myself as “a mainline protestant Christian committed to the historic teachings of the Christian faith.” One of those historic teachings is the uniqueness of Jesus Christ and the exclusivity of his message. Of course, as college students are want to do, they instruct me that all religions are basically the same. They all have moral requirements and teach people to be kind to one another. They assume that if you get that message and you are a “kind” person, then you have passed the religion test.
I make sure that I teach every religion to the best of my ability and I think I teach the best version of each religion, but there is something different about Jesus and the Christian faith. One of the differences is the interplay between justice and forgiveness. Christianity is the only religion that deals with both justice and forgiveness in a deeply meaningful way. Second, Jesus was and is unlike any religious founder. Jesus claims that the way to “the Father” (heaven, nirvana, completeness, or whatever word any religion chooses to name redemption) is not through following a prescribed set of rules, or observing certain rituals, but redemption is through love. Particularly loving the Son of God, Jesus Christ.
Jesus says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” This claim is found nowhere else in philosophy or religion. It is a statement that I firmly believe.
Thanks be to God who gives us the victory in Jesus Christ. Amen
Go with God!