How important is a personal relationship with Jesus? Some of my evangelical friends define Christianity as a personal relationship with Jesus. Everything else is adiaphora, except maybe the worship leading praise band. Even some of my Episcopalian colleagues argue that a personal relationship with Jesus should be the aim of growth in Christian faith. My problem is that I don’t know what a personal relationship with Jesus is.
I was talking with some younger friends recently, and the subject of having enough came up. They have young families, mortgages, some loans to repay, college tuition to look forward to, their own so recently paid off, and a certain middle class lifestyle to which they’ve become accustomed. When, they wondered, would they have enough? Enough to not worry about money.
Not long ago I was talking with friend who has become the pastor of a church in his small home town. He’s been there for a few years, having been away for 20, and has found himself among people he has known all his life. The parish council president, for instance, is an old classmate from nursery school through high school. Some of his elderly parishioners are his old teachers. He knows almost everyone on Main Street, regardless of their denomination or lack thereof.
What’s got to him, he said, is the invisible wall that has been constructed between him and all these old friends.
My family did some major remodeling of our house over the last three or four years. I think we are finally done. A friend asked me if it was a wise investment: would we ever see the market value of the place exceed what we put into it?
No, it's unlikely that the market value of the house will ever surpass what we've spent on it, but, as I said to my friend, we don't really own it anyway, we're just stewards of it for a time.