Upon a life I did not live, upon a death I did not die; another’s life, another’s death, I stake my whole eternity. 

-Horatius Bonar   

Jesus is who we run to when we escape the clutches of religion. 

I have some Christian brothers I will call them—who share my faith in Jesus and just happen to be very dear to my heart.  I have written about these guys a time or two in days gone by.  These are the same guys who hugged me when the one person I loved most in this life walked away from a lifetime together—and more painfully, from me—never to return.

These guys are true-blue guys.  And what I mean by that is simply this: They are sports-minded, red-blooded, beer-drinking, and girl-liking guys (several are married mind you—so they would be one-girl-liking guys).  I know I said they were Christian brothers—and to tell you the truth (I do write about Christian spirituality—you wouldn’t expect me to lie), I’m not so sure if I have ever met too many men over the course of my adult life that I have enjoyed the company of more than these guys.  The group was born out of (at least in part) a shared discontentment with religion—it’s limitations, trappings, and barriers in regards to meaningful relationships.  Religion can be very isolating and some of you reading this know very well what I am talking about.  The group’s rise and success in large measure has been in simply responding to those recovering from the damaging effects of religion and a dire need for true community.   

What I took away from my time with these guys was real—a new appreciation for the freedom Jesus came to bring us in his coming to earth two-thousand years ago. 

I do have reason for pause however—my concern is that my friends don’t get so caught up in their new found comradeship and shared authenticity, humility, and anti-religious sentiment—that they leave Jesus in the dust in the process of their  rebelling against toxic religion and in turn forget the very freedom they celebrated to begin with.  We must never forget that true freedom begins at the foot of the Cross and that any lasting freedom must remain there to continue—to forget Jesus would be to abandon the very freedom of God.

To see Jesus is to look freedom in the face—in all it’s fullness.

 There were some Greeks in town who had come up to worship at the Feast. They approached Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee: ‘Sir, we want to see Jesus. Can you help us?’    (John 12:20-21, The Message Bible)

Do you want to see Jesus?

You can—he’s not hiding from you.