Friday, August 1, 2014

Why Do I Follow Jesus?

It is often said that as a Christian, one is called to give an account for the faith that we have.  What follows is an excerpt of a letter I once sent to a young avowed atheist with whom I was in correspondence about this thing called faith -- my accounting for the faith that I have.

Why do I follow Jesus?  Because I have found no better expression of God than in the person of Jesus the Christ.  If I can follow in those footsteps even a little bit, not only will I be the better for it, but so too will all I come into contact be.

The things that Jesus said and did make complete sense to me . . . but not in my rational mind.  It's crazy to love enemies in my rational mind – but if I would have a world of peace, both within and without, I understand that perfectly (I don't do it perfectly, but I do understand it).  The celebration of the meek and the lowly, the poor and humble, the misfits within us all, seems silly if not downright absurd, but my spirit knows that this is the best way.  To give away my money seems like a fools errand – I might need that cash some day – but sharing with others makes me better.  

Believing in God doesn't make my life circumstances better; and sometimes, believing in God has made my life circumstances worse, at least when viewed from the outside.  But I believe, because I have received, in the peace which surpasses all (my) human understanding.  It is the peace of God, which I inhabit and which inhabits me.  God is my resting place.  That's the best way I know to explain it.  I'm a Christian because GOD IS and I am.  

If you and I stood side by side at a sunset, we would both be moved.  Even if we were both thinking on the dust particles that caused what we saw, the beauty of what we saw would move us emotionally or spiritually or both.  And even if no words passed between us, we would still have shared and communicated something of great value.   I experience that beauty of shared experience with other Christians almost every day – in prayer, in holding the hand of the dying, in a marriage ceremony where two lives are joined together as one, in songs of praise, in laughter and in tears.  

Why am I a Christian? Because I have stood on that holy ground time after time after time, knowing that God was there with us.  I'm a lucky gal.


  1. This would be a great manifesto for ALL Christians. Something difficult to express made easy by your words. Thank you, Beth.

    1. Marilyn - thanks - it came out of a long series of conversations with a young man who wasn't having any part of it - I'm not sure what, if anything, he got out of the conversations, but he sure made me think hard about what I believe and why. Peace, Beth