Following Jesus is more than thinking Jesus was a good and wise man. It’s more than believing he was the Son of God. Following Jesus is being convinced that he revealed the Creator of the universe not in an abstract, philosophical way but in an active, relational way. In Jesus the Creator touched human life. Believing in Jesus is being convinced that Jesus demonstrated that the heart of God as we can know him is love for the world.
Believing in Jesus also means believing that Jesus demonstrated what it means to be human. A follower of Jesus is someone who says from the heart, I want to live as Jesus lived; I want to reflect God’s love to others; I want to bring God’s hope to all I meet.
In demonstrating both what it means to be the Creator and what it means to be human Jesus spent himself in service to humanity’s fulfillment.
The first question for a Christian isn’t what do I get because I follow Jesus but what can I give because I follow Jesus.
Having experienced in Jesus the Creator’s unquestioning love, we’re able to love others with equal abandon. We’re able to bring hope for the future to people in their darkest hours. Through our faith God can induce faith in them – not necessarily a faith spoken in the words of our religion but faith in life, God’s gift, and in the meaning of their own efforts for their future and the future of their loved ones.
The gift of being Christian is that we reveal to others what Jesus revealed to us: God is always with us, always on our side in the struggle for joy and justice. We bring Jesus’ promise that our efforts are not futile, God is accomplishing his future through them.
In the face of every failure, every suffering the Christian community’s gift to the world is unconquerable hope.