If you’ve read much of my blog, you’ll know that I’m a Christian. But I hope that my posts – even the ones explicitly about my faith – are accessible to everyone, whatever backgrounds and beliefs they have. There are so many things that are universal to us as humans, which cross cultural and religious boundaries: things like family, friendship, hope, grief, happiness and love. It’s sad when differences of belief, opinion or tradition get in the way of that.
We’re just at the tail-end of the Easter weekend, the festival that is perhaps most important to Christians. The Easter story is one that encompasses many of those universal human experiences and emotions: hope, grief, love, friendship. Sometimes, though, I think that the whole Easter story becomes lost in religious jargon.
I was reading a Psalm the other day (Psalm 116) and it got me thinking about the whole concept of salvation. Christians use that word all the time, especially at Easter, but what do we really mean by it?
I jotted down some of my ideas, based on Psalm 116: 8-19. Whether this is just my own form of Christian jargon, I’m not sure, but these were my thoughts:
Salvation is coming out the other side of the sorrows and challenges we face.
Salvation is the recovery of what we thought we’d lost.
Salvation is the tender drying of our tears.
Salvation is the repairing of our mistakes.
Salvation is conviction replacing confusion.
Salvation is strength when I am weak.
Salvation is having a life worth living.
Salvation is something I thirst for, but never need be without: I can drink salvation like lemonade.
Salvation means there is always someone I can call.
Salvation means my calls are always heard.
Salvation is my life lit up for others to see.
Salvation is hope even in death.
Salvation is being free.
Salvation means there is always so much to be thankful for.
Salvation means God deserves my attention, my love and my praise.
As a Christian, I believe this salvation is found in the Jesus who lived and worked on earth, a man who was followed, adored, rejected, betrayed, loved and hated. The Jesus who was falsely accused, beaten and crucified, a man who was buried furtively by friends afraid of sharing his apparently tragic fate. The Jesus who confounded the expectations of friends and enemies alike when he reappeared, alive again after they had all seen him dead with water and blood spilling from his pierced side. Yes, it’s a strange, incredible story, and yet from what I’ve read, observed and experienced, I’ve become convinced that this story of Jesus is true, and that my salvation – the kind of salvation I wrote about above – is completely tied up in it.
What do you think?