What would you say if I told you I put down the bible at this time of year – that it gets in the way. Keeps me looking down and in rather than up and out. Sort of like the smartphone watchers who seem to prefer a relationship with their phone rather than real people.
I would say why do you even need to ask. If that works for you … fine. And in years past when it didn’t and you did … also fine. Do you remember something your brother said way back … ?
About a long-term marriage being like multiple relationships just with the same person … ? Yes I do. It made sense at the time and makes more sense as time goes by.
Were all those “relationships” moving forwards like a straight line graph – onwards an upwards?
No. More like walking through a maze together. There is no “end game” – there are times we agree, disagree, go in opposite directions, hit dead ends … it is haphazard … more about the strength of our bond rather than “producing” something.
So why should our relationship be any different?
But mature Christians? The Great Commission? Bathed in blood? All that stuff of salvation … Isn’t that “product”?
Is how you “do Christmas” in your home “product”? Is it better or worse than others’? Are you taught how to do Christmas “properly”?
We do Christmas because it works for us. Our children choose to keep it very much the same – we choose to keep it the same because it works for us and them. But – to answer your question – It has changed and will continue to change. And no one’s Christmas is better or worse – just more or less (or not at all) to another’s liking (or not).
So if your goal is to become a good Christian … a mature Christian … or even just “a Christian” … Is that “product” or “relationship”?
Does it matter?
To a lot of people – yes it does. Knowing the bible, reciting verses, praying, going to church, asking forgiveness, sinning, trying not to sin, loving, trying to love better … It used to to you as well.
Yes it did. And today’s verses make me chuckle. The prophecy. The fulfillment. The “reward” for being a Chosen People. Your birth, your death, your resurrection. Except the Chosen People don’t see it that way. All the other faiths. All the other “gods”. All doing “faith” in a way that works for each. None better or worse – just more or less (or not at all) to another’s liking (or not).
With one small difference. Religion. One must be right and the others’ wrong. Which makes it product after all. Take away religion and relationship cannot be “wrong”. You described yours in pictures. A maze … haphazard … multiple relationships … the same person …
Should religion matter?
For you quite obviously “no”. For others (like the younger you) “yes”. But why did it matter to the younger you? Why do you forget the “multiple relationships” you and I have had? Why should you and I not find ourselves walking a maze together (or apart)? Why should we be any less “haphazard”? If it is the way of your marriage of 35 years and counting … then why not for you and me? Why not for each of you … of any faith or no faith … of this culture or that …
Love is central to each.
Love is relationship.
Unconditional love is love.
Relationship with all.
Beginning with a baby.
Beginning with new life … new breath … new day … new thought … new connections … new relationships … new moments … moment after moment after moment after …
Happy Christmas Eve.
Happy Christmas Eve, Paul.