I attended a conference where some highly respected people discussed and answered questions on a serious topic. Comedian Jeff Foxworthy was the moderator for the evening.
Foxworthy was so serious as he introduced the men sitting beside him as academics, intellectuals, and philosophers. Then he said, “Now let me explain what’s happening here by borrowing from Sesame Street.” Pause. “Remember that little song, ‘One of These Things Is Not Like the Others’?”
That moment of self-deprecating humor opened the way for a lively discussion on reasons faith in Christ Jesus is rational and how the Biblical worldview uniquely aligns with how we experience the world. They (including Foxworthy) discussed meaning, suffering, and hope.
The Christian faith is “not like the others.” I would summarize it like this: it is about relationship, not religion. For that formula to work, let me define religion as a moral framework for humans to overcome our flaws and a system to reach or satisfy a deity if it exists. Christianity explains that on our own, humans could never overcome our flaws and attain favor with God. Instead, God reaches for us and provides a relationship that mends the fallen human condition.
When God the Son became flesh and dwelt among us He brought relationship. “Our Father,” he taught us to pray. He referred to His followers as family (Luke 8:21). Friendship motivated His mission on earth. He said, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).
For years, Foxworthy has led a Bible study for homeless people at The Atlanta Mission. The fact that he shows up when he could be elsewhere teaches its own lesson. It models how Jesus humbled himself and entered into human suffering so that he might offer you the gift of God, eternal life. It’s the gift of presence.
Jesus lay down his life so you can have an eternal relationship with the Father and live a transformed life by the Spirit’s presence within you. By faith you are a child of God (1 Jn. 3:1).