Seriously, I don't know that there is a perfect word to use for what Christ can do for us. I am toying with substituting "AWAKENED to Christ" though; or "coming alive to Christ," or something like that. Because, really, I think that's more what becoming a Christian is... I believe we are born with that possibility (maybe even propensity), but then again, I am no theologian. But I remember when I "came alive" to who Jesus is, and it really did transform my life. It changed everything (and still is).
But, you know, as I type it out; and try to put it into a sermon, or a newsletter of sorts... it just seems like it doesn't really matter much what we say unless we really care about other people. But it's a thought.
Along those same lines, I remembered this story from James Bryan Smith's awesome book An Arrow Pointing To Heaven, which is a biography about Rich Mullins. In it, Mullins shares this story (which I've used in sermons):
I remember one time Beaker and I were hiking on the Appalachian Trail, and he met some friends of his, so I walked into town. It was about a five-mile walk from the campsite down the trail... down into town. And when I got there I went into a restaurant and I was having a steak, and this guy started talking to me and we had this great conversation. We were having a good time, and he said, "Hey look, it's dark and it's five miles up the road to your campground. Why don't I drive you up there?"
And I said, "Hey, great!"
And so we got in his car, and just as we pulled out from under the last light in that town, the guy said, "You know what, I should probably tell you that I'm gay."
And I say, "Oh! I should probably tell you that I am a Christian."
And he said, "Well, if you want out of the car..."
I said, "Why?"
And he said, "Well, I'm gay and you're a Christian."
I said, "It's still five miles and it's still dark."
Then he said, "I thought Christians hated gays."
I said, "That's funny, I thought Christians were supposed to love. I thought that was our first command."
He said, "Well, I thought God hated gays."
And I said, "That's really funny, because I thought God was love."
And then he asked me the big one. He said, "Do you think I will go to hell for being gay?"
Well, I'm a good Hoosier, and I puckered up to say, "Yes, of course you'll go to hell for being gay." I got ready to say that, but when I opened up my mouth it came out, "No, of course you won't go to hell for being gay." And I thought to myself, Oh my God, I've only been in New Hampshire for one week and I've already turned into a liberal! What am I going to tell this guy now?
Then I said to him, "No, you won't go to hell for being gay, any more than I would go to hell for being a liar. Nobody goes to hell for what they do. We go to hell because we reject the grace that God so longs to give us, regardless of what we do."
I always liked that story.
Peace out, folks; and in.