Figuring It All Out

I think I’m fascinated with reading the early Christians because they were trying to figure out just what this Jesus was and what it meant to live a life with him at the center.

And they tried out a variety of ideas. And they discussed and argued points of view. After all, Jesus did not leave behind a systematic theology. Mostly he left teaching on how to live and how to relate to God. And he also left miraculously through resurrection from being dead, a fact which begat the passion of the followers.

Until 313 when Constantine made Christianity legal, Christians met secretively—but not so secretive that their numbers didn’t spread wildly throughout the Mediterranean region. Once legal and out in the open, the master teachers, called bishops in our translation, met in the open to figure out a common set of beliefs to describe the newly legal religion. That was in 325. It only took 55 more years for Theodosius I to recognize the growth of Jesus’s followers and make Christianity the official religion of the Empire in 380. Those 300 years from 30 to 325 were years of exciting discovery.

Much like each of us who are born need to figure things out all over again. That is, unless we are like the Christians Paul once described that were babies in the faith and still spoon-fed baby food. Perhaps you were taught things at six that you have not grown past. You would be stuck in that infancy mode that Paul described. But he urged us to mature in the spirit.

Our story can reflect the story of the growth of the faith. Figuring things out ourselves, leaving behind the false trails, constantly pursuing maturity. Enjoying the pursuit of God.

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