Dec. 2, 2022
There are many stories in the gospels about Jesus in the Temple in Jerusalem. We are also told of Jesus teaching in a local synagogue. From this we know that organized religion, the faith community, was an important part of Jesus’ experience and his teaching. He was seen as the Messiah, the Christ, a figure that was part of the scriptures and teachings of Judaism. Without the religion of Judaism, there would be no Jesus Christ of the Christian church.
This reminds us that as we seek Christ, we should be looking to the church to help us to connect with Christ. With Divine Love. With the universal, unconditional love that we find in the gospel of Jesus Christ. The church teaches us about the nature of Christ. In church we learn of the way of Christ that leads to justice and peace and joy. In church we connect with the importance of self-giving in the search for wholeness. In church we hear of the forgiveness, reconciliation, and restoration that is possible in relationships between people. In church we learn of the vulnerability and intimacy necessary to experience healing and wholeness. In church, we are accept that we are imperfect AND we are loved. As we are.
So when we think about seeking Christ this season, we want to remember that the church is a place that we can expect to experience Christ – in our tradition, in others, and in ourselves.
If you have not been to church for a while, this is a good time to head back. If you haven’t been to church for many, many years, this is still a good time to seek Christ in a faith community. If you have never been part of a church, this is a good time to give it a try. If you don’t find Christ at church, don’t give up on Christ, as if you have been abandoned. Look for another church. If Christ is not in a church, it is not because Christ has left the church but because the church has left Christ. Christ never gives up on us.
We are grateful for the many faith communities that are shining the light of Christ and inviting others to find comfort, warmth, clarity, and healing in that light. Amen.