For how great is his goodness, and how great his beauty! – Zechariah 9:17
Two days ago I was riding down the River Road looking back across the Cape Fear River at Brunswick County. The sunsets over the Cape Fear are often beautiful, some days more beautiful than others. But on this particular evening it was a band of yellows, oranges, reds, purples, and blues stretched as far as the eye could see atop the river and the pine forest that stand not to far from her banks. I’m not sure how anyone could not ride by the river without being captivated.
I posted on Twitter after I was out of sight of the river, “It is nothin shy of stunning looking west across the Cape Fear right now.” This provoked some response. People wanted to see what I say seeing. I wasn’t able to take any photos. But the response I received did get me thinking.
There are countless excuses made up for why people don’t “come to church” or that they aren’t interested in Christianity. I think the real reason is within the heart of man. (But that is a post for another time.) But I think there might be a reason that adds to dis-interest. There also might be some truth found in the rampant apathy among professing followers of Jesus. We don’t see Christ as beautiful.
For so many people who are professed followers of Jesus, he is nothing more than something that you add to your life. He isn’t Lord and Savior for so many. He’s just simply a means to an end. For most Jesus is the way to escape hell. Perhaps he’s a means to place false piety in hopes of finding mercy because of self-righteousness. But Jesus isn’t just some means to an end. He’s the means and the end for which we exist. It’s to glorify him, because he is worthy of all glory. Jesus isn’t just a way to save our lives from an eternity in hell, the Scriptures say, “Christ is your life.” The glory of Christ is worthy of proclamation. Yet, it is to rare today to find Christ at the center of the Christianity of most. It is terribly to often we make Christ, us centered, and therefore, we are us centered. The gospel is the good news about Jesus. The greatest gift God gives us is the gift of himself. That’s beautiful news. If we would just live as though Christ was our all, and that he was truly worthy of worship, worthy of being called great and glorious. That kind of Christianity begins to catch attention, attention drawn to the most beautiful Christ.