Is Christianity a sop to placate the poor and disenfranchised? We have met or read of many people in dire circumstances who shine their kindness and live a powerful commitment to retain their humanity.* Of course, in the most dire circumstances, those folks often die to preserve their personal humanity. But there are plenty too who use any sorrow or loss or challenge as an excuse to proclaim that everybody else has it "better than me" and proceed to sow sorrow, violence and destruction in their families and communities. If it is a bribe, it does not appear to be working very well.
Is Christianity the sole property of intellectuals? Some are guilty of poor scholarship and other of intellectual snobbery and as long as theologians argue about what is the "exactly perfect way to be baptized" and which parts of the Bible are relevant, they do not model the kind of kindness or the humility that Christ modeled for us. We have all met folks whose academic prowess will not make them candidates for astrophysicist of the year, but who shine the love and comfort of God to us each and all, sometimes over centuries.** Some folks manage to be both wise and kind, but I don't see it as being an intellectual exercise with them.
Is Christianity for the perfect folks who have it all together? Only to the degree it is for the Easter
Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, unicorns and the Elf on the Shelf. (Get it? They are all mythical creatures! LOL). And, if there were such a people, what would they need with Christ?
Is Christianity for the brokenhearted? Does God offer love and hope and healing to the sorrowing, the lost, the terrified, those without hope, those who can see nothing in today and have no expectation of tomorrow that might suggest a point of light at the end of the long, cold, dark tunnel that is their lives? YES! Yes! Yes.
So people can be wealthy or destitute or anywhere in between; people can be smart as a whip, or simple as a child and anywhere in between; we can be in jail or prison or caught in a web of illegal behavior and stinkin' thinkin', or living in the free world with thousands of distractions and false promises of instant fun and happiness. But we must do this: in at least some small corner of our hearts or minds we must realize, acknowledge that we want more out of life, need more out of life, want our lives to matter--I want MY life to matter, want to make a difference, want to live free of lies and addictions and various forms of foolishness that drag us down, distract us, and even destroy us.
You can be anyone. You can be anywhere. You can be living "well" or barely getting by. Everyone is welcome at the table. Everyone has a story and they are unique, but they have the same ending: rest in the arms of God. For some the change in their lives will be public and testimonial; for others it will inform and heal in private moments and end-of-life moments.
But that is always the end game: rest in the arms of God both in this life and in the life everlasting.
* Man's Search for Meaning, Victor Frankl, 1946
** The Practice of the Presence of God, Brother Lawrence, 17th Century