Becoming a Christian All Over Again

You are a beloved child of God. You are loved by God individually, uniquely, and He wants you for His own, for all eternity.

Let the mystery capture you! Let the mystery inspire you! Cherish it! View it from the heart! And, inevitably, you will measure the worth of every human being by God’s standards, which are wrapped in mystery, of course.

And whenever you are tempted to question the worth of another human person — “How can God’s infinite love extend to that wretched person?” — remember that the Mystery of God’s Love is not for you to solve, but to experience, and to cherish! To do so is the most creative thing you can do in life — the finest of all the fine arts.

A mother wrote to her Pastor, explaining that until recently, she didn’t know what love was, despite the hundreds of sermons she had listened to over the years. This mother had been reared in the highest echelons of society in a southern U.S. city. She was very active in the Church, always on the right committees and in the right places and everything was just right. And she really believed she was a Christian. “But,” she wrote, “I had a problem. My daughter had been giving me a lot of trouble. She learned how to say ‘No’ at a very early age and just kept on saying it. This didn’t fit into my way of life. It disrupted my comfortable routine and I began to resent my own daughter. This became obvious to her until, finally, she ran away from home. The note she left said, ‘It’s obvious, mother, that you don’t love me, and it would be better for both of us if I go away.’

“My world collapsed. At first, out of sheer humiliation, that I, a prominent society person and a prominent Church woman should have her daughter leave home under such circumstances. Then the humiliation gave way to a deep sense of despair when I finally became honest enough to say to myself, ‘I don’t love my daughter. I don’t even love myself.’ And I just had to get down on my knees and somehow begin this whole business of being a Christian over again!

“And the words I’d been hearing all my life about God’s love and about Grace and forgiveness and reconciliation, suddenly grasped me for the first time, and my whole life changed, from inside out. And when I found my daughter, the reconciliation began. Not only that but my relationship with my husband, my relationship with my other children, my relationship to the Church — everything was different.”

This is what the Apostle Paul was so concerned about when he wrote his letter to the Galatians. They had heard the Gospel preached but it was apparent that it was not making a real difference in their lives. They were “keeping the faith” on a very superficial level, in their Church-going and in their show of allegiance to the Law. But they had not been consumed with the Grace of God’s love at a level deep enough to make a real difference in their lives and in their relationships. Paul, therefore, says to them: “Out of love, place yourselves at one another’s service. The whole law has found its fulfillment in this one saying: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ If you go on biting and tearing one another to pieces, take care! You will end up in mutual destruction!” (Gal. 5:13-15).

Don’t you see? We need to stop talking and singing about God’s Grace long enough to start living in it. Don’t you see? We need to immerse ourselves in this love of God. Don’t you see? We need to become ever more aware that God’s Love is deep within us and at this very moment a miracle can occur.

Those of us who have been hearing this all our lives at one level will hear it now at a deeper level and at a new level because God is here, God is present, God’s Grace — the Grace of reconciliation — is in you, in me, in all of us. Don’t you see? We will all do better when we get down on our knees, position ourselves before God, and begin this whole business of being a Christian all over again! Do it now and experience the miracle of God’s Love deep within.

Come Holy Spirit, I need you Now. Amen.

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