If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.– Meister Eckhart
It’s all about Jesus:
Jesus Christ, as He is attested to in scripture, is the one Word of God for us to trust and follow in life and death. We recognize that Jesus’ way is the most important way we can live. Since Christians are called to belong to Jesus, to make Him our Lord, we must recognize that there are no areas of life that we are not called to give to Him in faith. This is our ongoing task and it is vital for us because it enables the Church to be where Jesus Christ is present and active in the world.
The Church has the deep joy and great task of being the hands and feet of Jesus Christ to the world. Jesus’ way is the one way that offers selfless love for all people instead of hating the “right people.” Jesus’ way is the one way that works against injustice and violence without becoming unjust and violent. Jesus’ way is the one way that looks at people face to face, never using them or treating them like a number. Jesus’ way is the one way that puts grace above being perfect. Jesus’ way is the one way that always serves instead of controls people. Jesus’ way is the one way that reunites us with God in life and death. Jesus’ way is the most important. It’s about Him.
This church works hard to keep it about Jesus:
First Christian Church in Fort Smith is part of the Disciples of Christ. The Disciples of Christ have long held to a “theistic” view of Christianity instead of a “humanist” or “legalist” view. That means we believe in God, we believe Jesus is God’s Son, and we believe our faith is meant to be a living reflection of Jesus. We are not in this world to be the best versions of ourselves without Jesus. Too often, humanism, self help, living your best life, and the like gets stuck or it strays into unhealthy and self-centered places. But, we are also not in this world to collect a bunch of rules and ideas about Jesus that don’t transform us. Too often, legalism becomes a cold, dead way of approaching faith – it becomes more concerned with memorizing facts and figures, and less concerned with knowing a loving God found in Jesus Christ. Simply put, both “good vibes” and “bible thumping” tend to err on fitting Jesus into our own self determined desires, politics, and plans. Too often they make Jesus out to be a salesman for the American dream rather than the Proclaimer of God’s Kingdom on earth. Instead of humanism or legalism, we are called to a living relationship in faith.
We hope you will make it about Jesus with us:
Christianity is not about us, it’s about Jesus. The world needs people who put Jesus above themselves. We need to uphold the selfless love of Jesus to all people – our neighbors, strangers, and even enemies. No one else does that. However, it’s no easy task. We are a people of self-denial, not self-fulfillment. We are a people who walk a straight and narrow road imperfectly. But still, we rejoice. What Jesus does in and through those He calls is amazing. He freely pours grace into people’s lives with the expectation that these abundant lives would overflow into our neighbors. We are gladdened in walking closer in faith to Jesus as He is the source of graceful, selfless love. As we do, we naturally pour out more love into others. The gifts God gives us are meant to be shared.
We are extraordinarily grateful for the life we have in Christ. The Christian mystic Meister Eckhart said it best, if the only prayer we ever had was thank you, it would be enough. And we hope others might know this same love-centered life. We invite you to join in worship, to study with us, to share in this community with fellowship, and to take part in special events. But, more importantly, we hope that by doing these things together, you would be better equipped to serve all our neighbors alongside us. We hope more hearts would overflow with selfless love. We hope that together we can look less like ourselves and more like Jesus. Our world desperately needs people who truly understand that it’s not about us, it’s about Jesus.