Affirmation of faith and thanks giving
A year or two down the line from my re-birth some things really start to look fantastical as I look back inside the self contained bubble of god-faith. It’s not the big things like heaven, hell, salvation, belief in miracles or fundamentalism – it’s the ‘Jesus is great – he really loves me, and is amazing!’ stuff which stops me in my tracks. I have friends, close friends and family who I love dearly who give thanks to Jesus and attribute ‘grace’ to pretty much every positive thing that happens to them. The interesting thing is that I also know a lot of non-Christians, whose lives are no better or no worse, who aren’t more or less lucky in their day to day. To both sets of friends sometimes positive stuff happens, sometimes negative stuff happens but my normal rational Christians friends attribute the positive stuff to Jesus’ love (incidentally they don’t blame god for the bad stuff, of course… that’s the other guys fault).
I’m coming to the conclusion that this ritual is key. Thinking about the object of your faith at times when good things happen and attributing that positivity to him, gives a strong sense of god being in control, and ‘looking after’ you.
The more they share with each others, these stories of god ‘touching’ their lives the more it re-affirms it to other Christians in their circle. It’s vital, and it’s were the phenomenon of ‘worship’ comes in to play – gathering together every Sunday to communally sing songs about how great Jesus is and what he’s done for you continues the cycle. If you’re down and not having a happy time, or going through a rough patch… well that’s because you aren’t giving your life over to Jesus enough, of course. Jesus loves me, this I know, because the bible tells me so.