The term “pistus Christu” (faith in/of Christ) continues to be a source of encouragement and strength on my faith journey. I look at what it means to emulate the faith of Christ and set as a very lofty goal to imitate in my own life the examples of how Christ treated his neighbor and how he loved God with his whole heart. I hope to reach out to those who feel that religion failed them or feel so ashamed of themselves that they could not return to church. I’m talking about those with a constant tape that runs through their heads that says, “What you have done is so bad that God cannot forgive me.”
I know what it is like to feel trapped by stories that are anything but Biblical teaching. We receive, from Christ, freedom from oppression, only to reject the teaching of hope and fall back to a jacked-up message of condemnation and loathing. I find myself in times of prayer, longing to discover the negative tapes in my head so that I can take them out and replace them with hope and truth. Jesus treated me with compassion, just like he did the woman caught in the very act of adultery. He called me to participate in a meal with him, just as he did Zacchaeus.
May we go through our days and reflect on the truth of our conversion from darkness to light. Let us celebrate that while we were yet sinners, Christ came to us and delivered us from our circumstances. May our gratitude shine with the brightness of the sun as we give thanks for Him, our Redeemer. In all things, let us remember to reflect on the love of God through our actions. We emulate the best that humanity has to offer. Let us respond in a way that is pleasing to the Holy One.