The goal of repracticing Christianity is to move our spiritual experience from a mere system of beliefs and unsatisfying church routines to a newly conceived way of life and empowered living rooted in the spiritual practices of church. The goal isn’t to become more “religious,” as that term is negatively used today. The goal is “life, life and more life,” and alignment with God’s creation intention for humanity. We seek this because we believe what Jesus said:
Anyone here who believes what I am saying right now and aligns himself with the Father, who has in face put me in charge, has at this very moment the real, lasting life and is no longer condemned to be an outsider. This person has taken a giant step from the world of the dead to the world of the living (John 5:24).
Bishop and scholar N.T. Wright helps us see how this works in conjunction with renewed spiritual practices of church. No one I know paints a better portrait of what it might look like for our generation to practice faith in the real world.
When the church is seen to move straight from worship of the God we see in Jesus to making a difference and effecting much-needed change in the real world; when it becomes clear that the people who feast at Jesus’ table are the ones in the forefront of the work to eliminate hunger and famine; when people realize that those who pray for the Spirit to work in and through them are the people who seem to have extra resources of love and patience in caring for those whose lives are damaged, bruised, and shamed, then it is not only natural to speak of Jesus himself and to encourage others to worship him for themselves and find out what belonging to his family is all about, but it is also natural for people, however irreligious they may think of themselves as being, to recognize that something is going on that they want to be part of.
© Todd Hunter, Giving Church Another Chance, Used by Permission, IVP