is unique?


Saturday Reflection


6th March 2021

...the light of all mankind...

In the beginning was the Word,
  and the Word was with God,
  and the Word was God.

In him was life,
  and that life was the light
  of all mankind.

....John 1:1,4

Have you ever sat back and
thought about how Christianity
is different from other religions?

There are obvious dozens of
specific differences -
we worship Jesus Christ,
our saviour,
we go to church and worship
(generally) on Sundays,
or at least we do when
the churches are open -
until then we give thanks
for the internet.

We believe in life after death,
and so on.
But at a more categorical level,
there are several things that make
Christianity different from
any other religion,
and the biggest one is found
in the gospel of John 1:1

We do not worship a philosophy
or an idea;
Jesus' primary meaning was not
his role as a revered teacher,
like Buddha or Confucius,
or even a prophet like Mohammad
or Moses.

We worship a person who is God;
no other religious figure among
the major religions even
makes this claim,
much less a credible claim
believed by million and
billions of people.

The extraordinary thing about this
is that we are able,
through the grace of God in
bringing Jesus to earth
in human form,
to actually know God
as a person.

He was a flesh and blood friend
to the disciples.
He ate meals with them,
he took journeys with them,
he talked with them
and taught them.

He was like them;
he got hungry, tired, angry,
he bled and died.
Setting aside the knowledge of
salvation through belief in Jesus,
if you follow Judaism, Islam or
any other religion you
lose something else -
God is not your friend.

One reason he came to live among us
was just so that we could love him,
not in an abstract way,
but just as we love
our favourite person.

See what kind of love the
Father has given to us,
that we should be called
children of God; and so we are.

....1 John 3:1

What a wonderful gift.

Jesus has left us for a while,
but we can still know him as an
intimate and loving friend;
partly by reading about his
friendship with others who are
long gone but also through the
Holy Spirit whom God
has sent to live in us.

Do not be afraid,
out of a sense of reverence,
to be friends with God.

Yes, we must always respect
and worship him as God,
but he created us to be friends
with him and talk with him.
It's a wonderful thing to know
we can take advantage
of this at any time.

13 Greater love has no one than this,
   that he lay down his life
   for his friends.

14 You are my friends if you
   do what I command you.

....John 15:13,14

That's what Jesus told
his disciples, and
that's what Jesus did;
what can we do for him?

He may not ask us to
lay down our lives,
but he does ask us to love
and serve him in other ways.

It may be interesting to watch,
or just listen to a song
'The Goodness of God '
sung by Jenn Johnson
Bethel Music,
via the link shown below.