Sometimes I think that people who don’t believe in Jesus are turned off by what they see in the church. In this country especially, where we have a “civil religion” that many people call “Christianity” but really isn’t, it’s easy to get confused.
The best way to get around that, of course, is to forget about the church for a while – and learn who Jesus is. Where did he go? What did he say? What did he do? That’s why I love this video sermon from the Austin Stone‘s Matt Carter: He’s simply standing on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, under the Mount of Beatitudes, and reading Christ’s words from the bible. No commentary or explanation. Just Jesus. It’s remarkable.
Sermon on the Mount from The Austin Stone on Vimeo.
I’ve always had a hard time approaching people in need … particularly those who are grieving. I want them to know that I care about them, but don’t want to force them to put on a brave face. And I know that no words that I could say could really help. I know that to many, God’s wisdom sounds like folly … but what I really want to say is this:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” — Matthew 11-28-30
My life began to change when I realized that full reliance on God was required – and that my tendency to rely on myself or anything of this world was futile, doomed to failure, and would lead to my ultimate ruin. That’s a lot to take in, especially if you’re grieving … but maybe Jesus’ words above are enough to start with.