New Orleans Easter Reflections

"Now it's time to acknowledge that faith is not a problem to be solved or a question to be answered, but a mystery to be lived-- the mystery of a real, live relationship with God--the GodLife relationship"
Leonard Sweet in "What Matters Most"

I had the privilege of attending the NCAA Final Four celebration in New Orleans, LA this past week.  It was a once in a lifetime experience among some of the most passionate basketball fans I have ever seen.

It was my second time visiting New Orleans, which has a unique culture and spirit to it.  The city is known for its french influenced foods, entertainment, and even religion.

One thing I noticed was that New Orleans was one of the most religious cities I had ever seen,  There are religious icons and churches every where.  Yet, New Orleans is one of the most decadent and immoral places in the world.

A casual stroll down infamous Bourban street will have you trip over numerous drunken people, pass live sex shows where mirrors are placed so you can see in from outside, and visit numerous shops for voodoo accessories:

My take away point is that religiosity in itself is nothing.  In fact, it can and often is used to cover up some of the most atrocious and unloving acts.

Faith however, is a relationship.  It is the interaction with, confidence of, and trust of a loving God.  It is that relationship that is real, transforming and powerful.  It is not a construct of beliefs, rituals, and rules that constitutes faith.  Yes, because of our relationship with God, we hold beliefs, use rituals to enhance, and develop rules of discipline, but these are relationally based.

This easter, its tempting to want to be religious.  Its tempting to want to go to church this Sunday, wear nice clothing, etc., and there is nothing wrong with those things except that they are hollow and superficial if we are not focusing on relationship.

This Easter, insist on going deeper, loving passionately,and  celebrating authentically.  Religion in itself is nothing, relationship is everything.

God bless you,

Pastor M Traylor