Last night we met with people in a local pub to discuss theology. I know it is a very deep word for something casual, as we really hadn't even decided on the topic for the evening. You could say we just got to know each other and threw it out there.
I came away with lots of questions. I learned a lot about other Christians and came away with a deeper appreciation for my church and thankful for what God has given me.
Here are a few things that impressed upon me. There are levels of Christians, or many gardens. Even if our belief systems are not exact, we can and should pray for and love one another. The day of isolationism is over. We can agree to listen and to grow from each other's experiences. Finding Christ is a process, left in the hands of the Master.
I learned from one person that there are Christians that do not believe in the Resurrection of Christ, saying that you do not have to believe it in order to be Christian. Now, that is where I draw the line. That is our faith, without the Resurrection, we have nothing and it is all a lie.
Who and what religion cannot love one another? Belief in the Resurrection of Christ makes us Christian's called to love and service. Otherwise, there is the danger of being in a social club, rather than a church.
True Christians must love their enemy's, because they see Christ in each and every person. Father said it best when he spoke about Peter and Jesus who wanted to know if he loved Him? We are all called to love Jesus above all, and that was hard even for Peter. There are different levels of Love and Peter was not ready. We grow to love the Lord as we begin to know Him through the Church, the Word and through others. The amount of love we have depends on what God gives us. Since it is not forced upon us, we must be "open" to receiving it. Do you need and want Jesus in your life? That is the question.
I realized that God has given me everything, as I listened to other's who in some way have not found what I call the fullness of Love. It is only God who can reveal Himself to us, as He chooses.
I am blessed to receive the Mysteries of our church. These gifts offered and given to us, have been celebrated from the time of the apostles, and commanded by Christ Himself, who is the head of our church, "Take, Eat, This is My Body" "Do This in Memory of Me."
(Matthew 26:26) Taken from the Orthodox Study Bible
"Seek and you will find, knock and the door will be open to you." Jesus is waiting for you to find your way. Sometimes the journey is long. That road is not paved in gold, but in blood, sweat and tears. I recall the very first time that I learned that God, in my life, was real. He was there when I needed Him most, and Has always been by my side, waiting.
So when the day comes, and Jesus asks you, "do you love me?" Will you know why you do? One of those reasons for me will be that He never gave up on me, and patiently waits for my love, accepting me where I am. All the while, giving me every good thing. Sometimes, He allows me to stumble in order to teach me, for my own good.
I am thankful, realizing what I've got. And sometimes I even think, "Why Jesus, do you love me so much?"
Almost A Minyan
4 months ago