Christianity is based on concrete events and actual history that happened more than two thousand years ago. The life of Jesus, around which it grew, is recorded in a collection of books known as the Bible. Christians do not merely see him as a miracle-worker. preacher and prophet. Believers accept Jesus as the Son of God sent to reveal the identity of God as Father of all creation, who loves unconditionally.
The angel Gabriel was sent to announce the birth of Jesus to Mary, a young virgin. It was revealed that she was “to conceive in her womb and bear a son, and (she will) name him Jesus. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God” (Luke 1:31, 35). The virginal conception of Jesus takes place through the Holy Spirit, the power of God.
In sacred scripture, Jesus is revealed as the Incarnation, “the image of the invisible God” (Col. 1:15). the God who “became man and lived among us” (John 1:14). In Him, Christians experience the very nature of God, the ultimate expression of the forgiving, compassionate love of God for humanity.
To know Jesus is to accept his life, message, suffering, his death on a cross and resurrection. In accepting Him, the believer accepts the manifestation of God’s love, not in abstract terms, but in a fully human way as a man, one who can weep, suffer, bleed and die. Through Him God demonstrates His over whelming love for humanity and his desire to show us the way to “fullness of life” (John 10:10). The message of his coming is that the Father loves us with a love so deep that he gave humanity his very own son in the person of Jesus Christ.
The mission of Jesus continued even after his death. His resurrection is a sign of what the believers will become when life has ended. Like Jesus, we will be raised on the last day and be united with God the Father. Meanwhile, God’s presence revealed in Jesus continues to be present in the Church today.
Through the centuries the Spirit has moved believers to gather as ‘Church’ to pray together, to remember the sacrifice of Jesus, to ponder the love of God the Father and to share this love with others in shared lives and works of mercy, justice and peace. The Church today is one family of believers with many different traditions. Each tradition, whether Catholic (Roman or Eastern Orthodox), Methodist, Anglican, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Baptist, etc. is like a bright window on the mind and heart of God. Whichever the tradition, God is always at the center with Jesus, the Christ.
Christians believe that in Jesus Christ, God is breaking down the walls, barriers and prejudices that separate us as races and as religions. We believe that the true Christian is a new person – one who somehow in his life, by his willingness to suffer for others, by his sincerity and relationship can reconcile others to God, thereby bringing hostility to an end. Christianity proclaims that true peace depends on the practical recognition that not only individuals but also nations and states are subject to the sovereignty of God and to the moral law that comes from God.
The dignity of the human person as the image of God must be upheld. States as well as individuals must repudiate racial, religious or other discrimination in violation of these rights. The rights of all peoples, big and small, must be safeguarded. The security of the family as the basis of society, an adequate standard of living, decent conditions of work and the privilege of the worship of God must be protected and provided so we can all become common citizens of that household of God we desire.