Faith Column: Jesus and all his works
June 19, 2015
As Christians we are all really the same, but we spend a lot of time dwelling on the differences between our religions. You know the kind of stuff I'm talking about; the Mormons believe Joseph Smith was a prophet … Baptists believe the Bible and its teachings are the final authority for faith and practice … Catholics believe there is one God in three persons (Holy Trinity). And some religious groups dance around campfires holding venomous snakes. Despite our dogmatic differences, though, we all share a belief in Jesus Christ. We know he is our savior, and his atonement has paved the way for all of us to be forgiven.
One of my favorite paintings ever since I was young is The Last Supper, by Leonardo da Vinci. I've often looked at the painting and wondered what Jesus and the disciples were talking about. If their supper was anything like the big suppers my family traditionally had at Thanksgiving, they were probably talking about bunions, death, unappreciative kids, Alabama Crimson Tide football and why John Deere was better than International Harvester. I'm off track again, sorry. Jesus knew he was about to die for our sins, so he gathered everyone up and shared food and fellowship. And food has continued to be a focal point of friendship and fellowship ever since.
One of the other things we Christians have in common is a love of food. Boy, do we love to eat. It's common for a congregation to gather up in the church hall after services to eat, isn't it? Coffee and donuts, cakes and pie and my favorite, the potluck. Members of the congregation roll up their sleeves, tuck a napkin in their shirt collar and commence to eating. We even manage to find enough time in between bites to speak with the family across the table from us. Food serves as a nexus for friendship within our churches.
In Craig, though, this doesn't just happen at the churches. Throughout the year, there are several events around town that attract large crowds and just so happen to involve food. It becomes a great way for all of us to fellowship and share some laughs and a few racy stories. What do we do when we want to have some friends over to the house? We have a barbecue. Food … there it is again.
So a love of food is something we have in common. Similarly, we have a love of Jesus that draws us together. Tying it together, we partake of Communion, or the Sacrament, in which we commemorate the body and blood of our Savior. No matter how you slice it, at the root of the word Christian is Christ, and He is all that matters. Whether Baptist, Mormon, Catholic or another group, the sum of our similarities far outweighs our differences, if we can just find a way to set aside those differences. Bad is bad and good is good, no matter what church we call home.
Gerard Geis is the pastor at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.