When you get married and have children, you start making your own traditions and forming your own family identity. Often, this means blending the traditions of your families of origin and creating some things anew.
Well, the same is true of our faith—you have to make it your own. God is telling a story in history, and your story intersects with it. But your story might not look like my story. You have to discover your faith story.
But, while there is freedom of diversity in God’s story, there are also essentials that make the story God’s story. G.K. Chesterton said, “If, in your bold creative way, you hold yourself free to draw a giraffe with a short neck, you will really find that you are not free to draw a giraffe.” A giraffe with a short neck isn’t a giraffe! And just like long necks make giraffes what theyare, so also there are Christian essentials that make us what we are. We need to maintain the “long necks” that make us Christian.
This week we are starting a new series on the Book of 1 John called Abide. In it, John is going to identify our “long necks” and encourage us to abide in the essential teachings that we have heard from the beginning: that Jesus Christ came in the flesh and that we should love one another.