August 1st, 2016

Do we ask the hard questions of ourselves? Do we search ourselves?

Do we ask the “what’s”, and the “whys”, of our beliefs and practises?

One question I ask myself often, is, “Am I irreligious - enough?” The tragedy is that many of us never recognise, or worse, do not acknowledge, our entanglement in religion. A recent author said, “I look around and see, there are those who have grown tired of religion, but, are not prepared to jettison the idea of connecting with God.”

We even substitute stuff about Him – for Him. I find quite challenging, Paul’s words: “That I may know him …” The invitation in Matt 11:28-30, is to himself as an alternative, to the weary way of religion – to its legalism and demands.

(Religion uses rules to force our steps) (Religion uses guilt to keep us in line) (Religion uses rituals to remind us we have failed. – to live up to these rules.) The primary mission of Jesus was to tear down religion, And replace it with relationship with Himself. The Bible starts with no religion, just a naked uncluttered relationship with God. The Cross has not taken many of us back beyond the Fall, to that kind of relationship.

The first miracle of Jesus is a profoundly irreligious act – as he desecrates a religious icon using religious utensils to hold party juice. That act, it seems to me, it was a bit like if, today the RE ladies morning tea, was laid out on the alter here, and we gathered around to enjoy – many may be offended.

Matthew 11:28-30 Is Jesus taking us from holy water to wedding wine? Is Jesus taking us from legalism to life? Is Jesus taking us from religion to relationship?

Matthew 28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (The Message)

As we apply those verses – we might even get irreligious – enough!!

Shared by Graeme Cooksley, former president of OIKOS Australia.