“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” – John 12:24
“The last enemy to be destroyed is death...Death is swallowed up in victory.” – 1 Corinthians 15:26, 54
"The greater the sin, the greater the mercy, the deeper the death and the brighter the rebirth.” - C. S. Lewis
"This story...has the very taste of primary truth." - J. R. R. Tolkien

What Is Christianity?

A famous physicist said that truth can be recognized by its beauty, a principle which (when carefully qualified) applies not only in physics but to truth in general. The story of Christ's death and resurrection has this kind of of compelling, evidential beauty.

We find ourselves in a world full of good and evil, light and darkness, beauty and suffering. Reality is a beautiful portrait, yet scarred and torn. Why should it be this way? We live and love, suffer and die, and our bodies rot. Why?  Death is not the final word, for humanity or for the universe. Hope points us towards something greater. We hear the great Music, we feel the truth that our story ends in joy. No evil can quench this spirit.

The suffering of humanity is so deep, and yet our hope so strong and sure, that God alone can answer to it.

Christianity tells us the story of our world: God himself suffered, bearing the greatest burden. He walked among us, and showed us love. He loved us till the end, giving himself unto death. No flower blooms unless a seed dies, and neither can creation be born unless it passes through the darkness first. But in Christ, it is God himself who leads us through this night. This emptying, suffering, even death of God in Christ is the greatest mystery, for through it all is healed and redeemed. Mystery and paradox surround the cross, where death overturns itself. A seed of resurrection is planted: the world is changed forever.

In the Great Battle, good overcomes evil. Joy is born from suffering. Death is swallowed up in victory. Love is the last word.

We see now as through a glass darkly, but we will see face to face.

Where God is, there is the center, and he is in all things: in the cosmos and the quantum, in the primes, in the stars and trees and wind, in music, in our pain, within us. Each beauty is his Name, each ray of light is from this bright Star, even all creation is the river from this source and fountain, the One in whom all things are brought together.

He is Risen.

Let us sing.


What is Christianity?
It is a story, a tapestry, a song, a dance: a way of looking at reality.
A puzzle, a chess match, a tale of two trees,
   of Eden and Gethsemane,
   of mystery and victory.
A great legend of the battle between good and evil,
   of evil turned against itself,
   of despair turned to sudden, unexpected joy.
A romance of the love that overcame death, the life that redeemed death

It perceives the fall of man, our sorrow and sin, our darkness within.
It finds heaven on earth, God among men.
It remembers forever the courage of one man to fight on, to go where no one else could go, to overcome.
It sings of a life poured out unto death, an empty cup that yet overflows.

It tells of an unquenchable light burning in the darkness,
of a seed that fell from heaven, planting eternity in our world,
of a shoot growing from barren ground,
of joy born from suffering, the fruit of the cross,
of death destroyed by the death of God.

It defies evil, and sees that the night cannot conquer forever.
It perceives that good will overcome,
   that all will be healed, redeemed,
   all suffering put to an end,
   all hopes and desires vindicated.
It tells of all things made new, of a new world born: the tree of which this is the seed.
It finds in death the secret passage, the beginning, the door to reality.

It points us towards that place sought by hope, from which all beauty comes, the stars, the trees, the wind, the sea.
Towards the time when we will see face to face.
Towards the center and fountain of reality, the One whose name is Love,
The Author of the story, He who suffered and rose victorious.

It is a paradox: it cannot be, and yet it is.
What is Christianity? It is the truth.


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