Posted on April 20, 2014
Ugh! I can’t find the words! On Easter and Christianese
It’s Easter. Resurrection Sunday. It is an important day in the life of Christians. Easter Sunday is the day we celebrate that Jesus, the God-man who came to save us, rose from the grave.
Am I the only one that struggles with all of the Christian-ese we use? As I sat in church today, I was distracted by my thoughts about all of the people who come to church on Easter Sunday. It’s the one day where churchgoers and non-churchgoers unite in a great big ball of pastel dresses and little boys fidgeting in their shirts and ties. And all I can think about are the words we use to describe our faith: Born again, Saved, Christ-Follower, Saved by Grace, Fellowship of Believers, Asking Jesus into our Heart.
I’m frustrated! I’m frustrated because I can’t find adequate words to describe the deep sense of personal hope I have because of my faith in God… in Christ who came to earth, lived in a human body for 33 years only to be killed for his threat to the Jewish establishment. And I’m frustrated because I wonder how many people were sitting in the “worship center,” listening to all the “praise and worship,” observing the “offering basket” and being asked to pray the “sinners prayer” to “accept Jesus into their hearts.” Do they miss the point? Do they get it? Are these words just going in one ear and out the other because they are so strange?
I wish I had better words to communicate it. It’s all just so “Christianized” and I can’t get over how it must sound to all of those people who weren’t raised in church like me. It’s as if we speak in code and the code is only known by the insiders.
The truth is, the words are difficult. It’s hard to express a profound faith in something you’ve never seen. I can’t do anything but point to an inspired history book called the Bible that has been verified by other historical accounts. I can tell you about the belief I have that despite personal struggles I have always felt hope that can only be found in believing in something bigger than these few years we live. But you might point me towards other religions that boast the same.
In the end, these are the words I choose: I believe in Jesus Christ. I believe he came to earth as a baby born of a virgin, was crucified for living a sinless life, and he did it willingly so that I could be saved from an eternal death. I believe he rose from the grave and walked among the very people that put him to death, until he ascended into heaven. It all sounds preposterous! Yet, Christianity, as Jesus taught and modeled it is the only life-giving, life-affirming “religion” of the world. He doesn’t ask for money or sacrifice or good works. His love can’t be earned and it can’t be destroyed. (It can be rejected though.) He asks for our faith, our trust, our belief that he is God and we are not. He asks us to put our hope in him and not in all of our money, accomplishments and possessions. He gave his life up as a substitute for us, taking all of the sin – the bad junk we are and do – so that we could be reconciled to the God who created us.
Those words don’t do it justice either. You know, I just can’t find them. It still feels like Christianese. It still feels like something too complicated and strange for anyone to understand.
What if we’re wrong? What if it’s all just a myth or a hoax? What if the virgin birth, crucifixion and resurrection never took place? But what if we’re right? What if it did, and what if there is a hope of something more than this life? Would I take the risk of rejecting it and losing out on all Jesus has to offer? And what of this life… the one we’re living right now? What if it could be better and richer and fuller and more full of hope and acceptance and love? Well, for me it is. And I may not have sufficient non-Christianese words to describe it, but I’m telling you my faith is real, firm and unwavering.
If you have words to describe your faith, I’d sure love to hear them. Maybe you can’t help a girl out!