In-Sight: The Church’s Affirmation

     We end our Christmas-week meditations with the Church’s affirmation: “Jesus is Lord.”  This was the earliest Christian statement of faith.  It is a claim which universalizes him.  If he is Lord (that is, Yahweh–that is, God), he is no longer limited to a particular time or place.  Jesus (as risen Christ) is involved with everyone, everywhere.  He is present and influential in every religion.  And because Jesus is Lord, he is present and influential even in those who practice no religion–and that because he has made us all (John 1:3).
     I once thought that “the hidden Christ in all religions” was a phrase to avoid dealing with the actual differences between and among religions, and I know some have used it that way.But I have come to see that it is a phrase that provides the basis for the Christian witness. 
     When the Christ in me meets the Christ in you, the potential for transformation in both our lives is present.  That is why it is necessary to be sure that our testimony is rooted in Jesus and not in secondary things.  The meaning of Christmas is the message of Christ.

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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