What does it mean to be in relationship with Jesus Christ?
|Kneeling before God in prayer|
is often a private experience. Sometimes it
is difficult to relate or explain.
This means different things to different people. I suspect that if you were to ask ten different Christians what their relationship looked like, you would get ten different answers. All of us share many similarities as human beings but we are also unique.
Most people have relationships with their parents. There are similarities with each of these relationships that you could identify but each one would also have its own imprint that would mark it as different from others. It is not surprising that we should have different, unique spiritualities.
When my mother was eleven years old, she went down for an altar call with about seven others in her church. They were praying at the altar, seeking to be saved.
She told me, “We were on our knees in the front row.” I asked her if they had kneelers but she said they didn’t back then. Mrs. Downey was their lay pastor who led the services in that little country church in Houston, Missouri. Preacher Howard would come around once a month but the other Sundays were led by Mrs. Downey. Mom recalls the account:
“We were praying the prayer that Mrs. Downey taught us and eventually everybody got up but me. I didn’t feel any different after I had been praying and I was disappointed. It was embarrassing to be the last one left. Mrs. Downey talked to me and told me that sometimes you don’t feel it – sometimes you just have to take it on faith.”
Then she said, “I wasn’t satisfied which was why I had stayed there praying so long. But that came later.”
According to Myers-Briggs, people have a preference for being more of a “thinker” or more of a “feeler”. Those that are more thinkers would respond more to their relationship with Jesus Christ as a profession of belief or faith. It is something to which they logically assent. Feelers are more likely to have a change in their hearts come over them. They feel different and this experience is their assurance. Neither is better than the other. Neither is more authentic. God reaches us in different ways because we are each made differently.
This Sunday, we will examine Jeremiah 31:31-34 which is a famous passage on God’s New Covenant with God’s people. This passage speaks of “write it on their hearts” which indicates speaking to the feelers but it also states, “they shall all know me” in reference to teaching which may indicate speaking to the thinkers. We’ll explore how we are “Connecting our Lives” in worship together. I hope you’ll join us at 8:30 am and 11 am in the sanctuary or at 10:50 am in Wesley Hall. As we come together – thinkers and feelers and those somewhere in the middle – we make up the rich tapestry of faith that transforms us and transforms the world.
Photo by Jess Robinson, used under Creative Commons via Flickr.com