Yesterday, I received a newsletter from Make Way Partners. http://www.makewaypartners.org They are the mission group with whom I went to Southern Darfur, Sudan. MWP has constructed schools, a church, and dormitories for the orphans there In one of the most hostile, lawless, evil, unreached places on the planet. The orphanage they built in South Sudan is now near the boundary line between North and South Sudan. Fighting and shelling is happening a mile and a half from them. While all the villages around them are fleeing. They are staying. Where can they go with these children that will be safe? No where. Kimberly Smith is the director and founder of MWP. In the newsletter she writes.
"We are not people of a Pollyanna faith; rather we are a people called to run straight into the Darkness so that we might be the Light in the moment of despair. We are a people appointed to call out the names of Darkness so that those held in its grip might be set free. Christianity is not for the faint of heart, nor for the political aspirant—as sometimes the things we hold near and dear are the very entities, which we must confront for the Greater Good. Sometimes, in this naming of what is good for me and mine, we may even find the stain of ink bearing those names of innocents upon our own hands—as in how we as a nation may also profit from such wars. Still, we must boldly name, forge a new path, and rescue those who suffer the consequences of our profit and “security." Kimberly Smith
There is so much in that one paragraph to try to unpack. It may take me a couple days. One sentence says, “Christianity is not for the faint of heart.” Christianity was born out of a bold, powerful, violent, earthshaking, cataclysmic, paradigm-changing event, The Resurrection of Jesus, that shook and effected all created elements that exist. Resurrection is not for the faint of heart.
Christianity was born out of an all-consuming, at all-cost, all-in, all -forsaking act of true love. True love is not for the faint of heart.
Christianity was never intended to be something you enter into “lightly.” Christianity is something each of us and our communities are confronted with in our face that we must reject outright or that, if we accept it, will demand the remaking of our complete worldview. This remaking is not for the faint in heart.
The magnitude of stepping into Christianity is in and through Jesus you are not simply entering into a new religion, not simply entering into a new form of ethics or new way of salvation, you are stepping into a new creation. Stepping into new creation is not for the faint of heart.
We are in the season of Lent, preparing ourselves for the event of Easter. Jesus’ resurrection both burst through the boundaries of history and remains and impacts all within history. In Jesus’ resurrection, the faint of heart could cope with it if Jesus ultimately remains a wonderful and nice idea inside the disciples minds and hearts and tucked away in Scripture. However, to grasp and enter into the truth of Jesus, the truth of his resurrection that Jesus is the one who comes out of the tomb, who inaugurates God’s new creation in the world today is not for the faint of heart.
Open up your Bible to the Gospels, then flip to any page and put your finger down on a verse. Your finger will never touch a verse that supports Christianity is something "nice" to be entered into lightly or for the faint of heart. In your Lenten reflection, take time today and reflect on your heart and your belonging in Christianity.
Please share your thoughts and comments below.