I know, I know, I write about music a lot. Some of you are probably thinking - get a new subject, would ya!, but I can't help it. I just find so much inspiration in music. I wish I could write music, or even poetry, but alas, I have no talent for it. I have a brother who is very talented in this arena and I admire that in him very much, but I have no musical abilities of my own. All sorts of music inspires me, speaks to me, and in general feeds my soul, but every now and then I come across a song that, had I the talent for writing, I could have written myself. The words ring so true to me that I just can't get enough of the song.
Such is the case with this song, called More Like Falling in Love by Jason Gray. He sings about having a relationship with Jesus that is more like falling in love than it is a rote format to follow because it is something to believe in. That is exactly how I feel about my relationship with Jesus. It is a relationship not a religion. Religion never did a darn thing for me. Well besides fill me with guilt and shame, and that's not what God is all about. If I had stopped at the guilt and the shame, I never would have fallen in love with Jesus and found in that love the grace and mercy that he offers. What a tragedy that would have been.
I have been criticized for portraying only one side of God/Jesus in my writings. I have been admonished that I am doing people a disservice by speaking exclusively about the gentle, loving, graceful and merciful Jesus with whom I am so much in love. I should tell people of the wages of sin, I am told. It is not sensible to lead people to believe that Jesus is so loving, some have told me, after all, people should know they are going to hell if they don't do exactly as the bible tells them to. I'm sorry, I just don't feel that is my mission.
You see, as a child and teenager growing up in the church I learned very little about the grace and mercy of Jesus. Consequently when, in my 20s I fell away from the church, I had tremendous guilt about *ahem* activities I engaged in. So, when I felt the pull to come back to my faith, I felt that I could never redeem myself or call myself a Christian again. I mean, Christians just don't do things like that. Jesus was sinless, yet died for my sins and I had completely let him down, I felt.
It was only after some really anxious moments spent reading God's word that I came to realize that all of my worry was for nothing. Since I had been baptized at age seven, I didn't have the full understanding of what it meant to be made new in Christ. I understood the concept, but I hadn't done a whole heck of a lot of sinful things in just seven short years, so I didn't feel the overwhelming sense of relief I felt as an adult coming back to Jesus. It was then that I fell in love with the magnificent grace of Jesus. There was no hesitation from him as he metaphorically reached his hand out to me in order to bridge the gap between my sin and his perfection. He held nothing against me, his grace was all I needed. A free gift with no strings attached.
So, some of you will have to forgive me if I don't talk about the wages of sin and the fear of hell. Those fears were with me for many years, and they didnothing to draw me back to Jesus. It is my belief that God does not want our fear. He wants us to come to him freely, without having to be shamed or guilted into it. Just like it is when we fall in love. No one falls in love out of fear or guilt, so why would we be expected to come to Christ that way? I simply feel called (yes, I do feel it is a calling) to tell things like I see them. Plain and simple. Like Jesus did when he told his followers plainly and simply, that all the laws could be summed up into one sentence - Love the Lord your God with all your heart, strength, soul and mind; love your neighbor as yourself. When I speak of Jesus to others, I have to ask myself this: If love was the most important thing to Jesus, then why shouldn't it be most important for me, as well?