Last Sunday as we were wrapping up Easter dinner, a friend made the following comment. “Why does the church spend so much time talking about Christmas and Easter and so little time on the stuff in-between?” Good question.
After all it is fun to talk about Jesus coming as a baby in a manger to save us.
There is something powerful about Jesus dying on the cross and rising from the dead to save us.
It is easy and simple to focus on humanity’s need of salvation. I suspect we do this because it doesn’t demand much on a day-to-day basis. Get saved, move on with life.
But the stuff in-between, that is a different story. It has the potential to change everything.
As a child I was always told that church and politics don’t mix. And it is possible to avoid this if we focus exclusively on Christmas and Easter. However, if we take seriously the stuff in-between then politics becomes an unavoidable part of being a Christian.
Consider Matthew 5-7. Jesus says things like, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” Choosing to actively oppose violence at the personal, community and national levels is political.
Or how about later on in the same passage when Jesus teaches folks to pray, “Your Kingdom Come…on earth as it is in heaven.” What does it mean to create heaven on earth? Does this mean that the Christian faith and environmentalism have something in common with each other? Could it be that the car you choose to drive says something about the quality of you faith?
Think about Jesus’ call for us to avoid judging. Without judgmentalism it becomes difficult to preach hell, fire and brimstone. If the church judges less and accepts more it may appear to be “too inclusive.”
If you want a simple faith – focus on Christmas and Easter. However, if you are interested in being salt and light - the stuff in-between is pretty important.