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The Essentials of Faith: A Christian Perspective Part 2

Large Figure of Christ with arms outstretched under a blue sky
The Essentials of Faith:  A Christian Perspective Part 2
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About the Author

Reverend Dr. Morar Murray-Hayes

Reverend Dr. Morar Murray-Hayes

The Reverend Dr. Morar Murray-Hayes is the Minister of Maple Grove United Church, and is a member of the Interfaith Councill of Halton. A chatty extrovert with a conversational preaching style, a multi-tasker who is a “multi-worrier” when it comes to caring about people’s problems, and a leader who treasures teaming with the lay people in her church, Morar says that at Maple Grove she has experienced “a deeper level of ministry than I thought possible.” Anyone who has personally received Morar’s deeply compassionate caring and wise counsel will testify to what an inspirational, healing and encouraging ministry it is.

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What is it to be a Christian?   I think there are three essentials that may mark your journey.

The first is forgiveness, giving it and receiving it.


Second, to be a Christian is to open yourself to being met by Jesus.  And Jesus is ready to meet you in lots of different places, in the Bible, and in the worship of the church, in prayer, and also in the face of the stranger. Pope Francis got into trouble this year with the conservative media in the US for saying that we need to go forth to everyone, but above all the poor and the sick, those who are usually despised and overlooked; as Jesus said, to those who have nothing to offer you. And our encounter with Jesus can turn into a friendship with Jesus, which can free us from being too dependant on what the world thinks is important.

And, third, to be a Christian is to know, as Pope Francis also put it this year, the beautiful joy of knowing that God loves you.

Time and again, God forgives us, and never tires of forgiving us.  And our relationship with Jesus can turn into an enriching friendship which liberates us from being absorbed in ourselves.  Jesus says, according to the Gospel of John, I want my joy to be in you, that your joy may be complete.


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