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Making Meaning with Jesus

Christianity continues to struggle with a spiritual identity crisis. Recently, the Pew Research Center reported that the number of Christians in the United States is expected to decrease to between 35% and 54% of the population by 2070. At the same time, people who identify as atheist, agnostic, or “nothing in particular” could rise to somewhere between 34% and 52% of the population.

While some of us may dismiss these projections as unrealistic and assume that people will naturally gravitate to a church with great programming and activities, some faith leaders have already responded to the dire news by urging Christians to think carefully about how following Jesus makes a difference in their lives.

One place to begin is to simply ask, “What is my favorite story about Jesus that I would go to if someone asked me why Jesus matters to me?” Ponder the question, pray on it, and then let your favorite story inspire a clear, brief statement of how following Jesus influences the decisions you make and the way that you live your life.

As modern-day disciples travelling the Way of Jesus together, it is important to share our faith stories, especially when we have conversations with people who want to know why our faith matters and the varied ways that Jesus creates meaning and gives purpose to our lives.

Keep in mind, too, that we do not need to prove what we believe. The point is simply to honestly share our “Why” — how believing in Jesus and being in community with others who follow Jesus creates meaning in our lives. Many Christians experience this reality through the Spirit-filled nurturing of deep and meaningful relationships with God and others who join in God’s mission in the world through loving service, advocating for justice in our communities, and sharing the good news of God’s mercy, healing, and forgiveness in word and deed.

Knowing the “Why” also moves us beyond the “What” — the programs, the worship styles, the activities that make up our life together. Giving voice to the “Why” behind what we do matters, especially in a culture where far too many people believe that they can make meaning in their lives without God or the Church.

Know your story. Share your story.

In Christ’s Peace,
Pastor Jon

Tags: Weekly Word