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I’m no scholar.

I’m no dummy, either (I think).

Almost 20 years ago, I accepted Christ while recognizing his great love offered for me. It was simple to me. I needed help and he was there. I took the step and I’ve never looked back since.

As I’ve grown as a Christian and naturally in age, I’ve come to recognize that not everything in life makes sense to me. Not that I don’t seek the great answers to life and even some of the smaller ones, I have just come to realize that God knows and I am generally okay with that. One thing that I do realize is that the more I try to figure it out by myself, the more confused, alone, and lost I feel. Like the show, LOST, the characters struggle to fight their way on “the island” individually versus bonding together. It is a common theme in the entire six seasons of the show. I love that show because it is a central theme of life. Alone we are lost. Together, we are one.

The classic line from Jack, the hero of the show is,

If we can’t live together, we’re gonna die alone.

Early in my Christian life, God instilled the verse Ephesians 4:3 NIV in me, especially remembering it whenever I was in any petty argument or witnessed one in the church.

Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace.

Every time I read it, it hits me like a brick.

God commands us to make every effort. Not to fight each other. Not to live alone. But to keep the unity no matter what.

I am far from qualified to speak of or have any sort of wisdom in how to heal this but God showed me something recently that made more sense of it.

I was at a great friend’s father’s funeral this past weekend. While waiting for the service to begin, I looked around at the wide variety of people in the sanctuary. They were all over the midwest; from various economic, faith and cultural backgrounds. Despite this ragtag group’s looks, they came together in remembrance and celebration. They were unified in love and thanks for a great husband, friend, father, and son. It was beautiful like a glimpse of heaven. Next we all recited something magical.

As Christians, most of us have read the Apostles Creed. I was moved because I believe that God gave it to us through some brave men of faith in the early church to remind us of what matters most. My friends, whether they be Catholic, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Methodist, or any other Non-Denominational variety can all pretty much agree on this creed and most recite it on a regular basis in their own churches. I wish we all could live this creed with the thousands of churches that are in this wonderful yet fallen world. Imagine what we can do together.

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. AMEN.

Can you imaging if we read this everyday?  Read it out with me my Christian brothers and sisters. We will feel one together before our God and can serve better as one because of it.

Live together or die alone.

This week, I had the privilege of working with a team on a video for a wonderful new kids Bible releasing this fall by a client of ours. The most fun part was spending time interviewing kids to learn about what they liked about the Bible, which characters made them feel special, and anything else that would be amusing.  After hearing some of their humorous responses, I felt like calling Bill Cosby or resurrecting Art Linkletter from his grave to re-launch “Kids Say The Darndest Things”.

There were kids running around most of the morning laughing and playing while posing for picture. We even interviewed a five-year old who could memorize each book title of the New Testament and could recite John 1:1-7. I know that most kids haven’t read or been taught every part of the Bible but their experience dictates how they approach their own faith. I was floored by what was happening in front of me.

Here is what I observed from the kids:

  • There was joy in talking about the Bible
  • There was simplicity in the stories of the Bible
  • There were smiles about being in church
  • The kids played so well together when interacting with the Bible
  • The parents smiled and laughed with them

When we grow up, why do we lose this?

Why don’t I act this way about my faith?

Why do I try to complicate the Bible so much?

Why don’t I just stop the everyday madness in life and ask more kids about life?  Some days, I think they have it figure out better than I do. Today we as Christians are always looking for the better sermon or preacher who has more research and insight into what some dead theologian said 400 years ago. There is nothing wrong with that but it becomes our priority over what Jesus calls us to do first.

In Matthew 18:3, Jesus says,

I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

This verse hits me like a 2 X 4 every time.

Heading back to the 1990s, one of my favorite Jars of Clay songs was Like a Child. 

They say that love can heal the broken
They say that hope can make you see
They say that faith can find a Savior
If you would follow and believe
with faith like a child

Let this week be my reminder and your reminder to always approach life with simplicity, filled with a sense of joy, wonder and child-like faith.