First Reading: From Cynthia Bourgeault

A well-known Southern Baptist theologian quips that the whole of his Sunday school training could be summed up in one sentence: “Jesus is nice, and he wants us to be nice, too.” Many of us have grown up with Jesus all our lives.

…But what did Jesus actually teach? How often do you hear his teaching assessed as a whole?

…For the better part of the past sixteen hundred years Christianity has put a lot more emphasis on the things we know about Jesus. The word “orthodox” has come to mean having the correct beliefs. Along with the overt requirement to learn what these beliefs are and agree with them comes a subliminal message: that the appropriate way to relate to Jesus is through a series of beliefs.

…This certainly wasn’t how it was done in the early church—nor can it be if we are really seeking to come into a living relationship with this wisdom master.

…That’s what Christian orthodoxy really is all about. It’s not about right belief; it’s about right practice.

The words of Cynthia Bourgeault.