I read Samir Selmanovic’s essay “The Sweet Problem of Inclusiveness: Finding Our God in the Other” from An Emergent Manifesto of Hope edited by Doug Pagitt and Tony Jones.
If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend it. It is not for the (religious) light at heart. What I mean is that if you have been a part of organized religion this book offers brave new insights into life in the Kingdom of God. These essay’s provide glimpses of hope of how life could be, how life is for missional communities all around the country.
In this essay Samir thinks aloud,
“The Chominas and the Marks(to really understand these references you need to read the essay) aroud us leave us wondering whether Christ can be more than Christianity. Or even other than Christianity(Pg. 192).”
Samir marks a distinction between those that “take the name of Christ” and those that accept Christ on a deeper level that lead them to be “Christlike”. The difference is a significant one. One with important ramifications.
“Can it be that the teachings of the gospel are embedded and can be found in reality itself rather than being exclusively isolated in sacred texts and our interpretations of these texts(Pg. 192)?”
The substance of what it means to live Christ rather than merely accept the name of Christ. The substance of a life that lives Christ is exhibited in their interactions with others, what they do for them, and live with them. Life together.
Which leads me to this. This past week a girl by the name of Samatha Brown passed away. She had just graduated from high school. I didn’t know her personally but some of the youth from my church in Brawley were friends with her. I received a text message telling me that Friday (yesterday) a big group of her friends and classmates put together a car wash to help raise money for funeral expenses and related costs. There are pictures below of this car wash. I showed up to get my car washed and support the fund. I stayed for a couple of hours helping with the washing of cars. I stood their looking around and thought, “Christlike” as I saw what these teenagers did. A car wash doesn’t seem like much. But to me it spoke volumes of the goodness in humanity. The Kingdom of God hard at work. The temperature that Friday was about 110 and humid. In the two hours I was there I was drenched in sweat. These teenagers were there from 9 Am to 7 Pm.
The words that come to mind are amen, amen, amen.