Religion: Product or Truth?

What difference does it make in my life? This is a question that we ask of products we are thinking of buying before plonking down our cash. Is it worth it? Will it enhance my life? And this is the approach that many people take toward religion. Is it worth the time and effort? Will it enhance my life in some way? And so religion becomes a consumer product, and a decision is made much like one might decide whether to take out a membership at a gym or take up skiing. Finding a church becomes a bit like figuring out which gym to join.

Then along comes Easter when all manner of people, Christian and otherwise, celebrate with joyous thoughts of tulips, lilies, butterflies, and for some of us, chocolate. But Easter goes about its work dismantling the myth that religion is a product. A product is something you buy or buy into, typically so that your life, or someone’s life, can be enhanced in some way. Truth, on the other hand, is something you discover, something you learn. I once bought a treadmill in the hopes that my life would be enhanced. That is a product. My life did not change at all and I’m still not sure it was worth the $20 it cost me. My life did change radically through marriage and children. That I am a husband and father is a truth. It is the way it is. Cost is not a factor, there is no ‘buy in,’ there is no measurement of ‘life enhancement,’ there is something much better; living out and living in the truth. Jesus was crucified. That is the way it is. Jesus rose from the dead. That is the way it is. The death and resurrection of Jesus changes everything. That is the way it is. For the Christian, there is no ‘buy in’ to Christianity. There is something much better; living out and living in the truth.

So what difference does the truth of Easter make in life? Not the kind of “life enhancing” effect you may expect if religion were a product. Instead it can have a heart rending, mind blowing, life changing, destiny altering, effect. It is my hope and prayer that Christianity is not another product you have bought into, but rather that the truth of Easter and the grace and power of God is something you have truly discovered.

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