I don’t really think that Jesus has ever really been interested in your personal salvation.
But perhaps I should clarify.
I don’t think that Jesus is interested in your personal salvation as it relates to heaven or being saved. This is largely a function of the contemporary American (evangelical) church.
Jurgen Moltmann writes convincingly that Jesus’ historical experience (vis a vis the cross) is not the moment of the reconciliation of all things. There is no moment in time where we could not already be reconciled to God.
The event of the cross, for Christians, functions as a signal marker that we already find the fullness of our being in the divinity in whom we move and have our being. But this act, couched in the paradigmatic theology of Christian faith, is not just for Christians.
The great sin of the evangelical church today is its subversion of the community-saving message of Jesus into the heresy of an individualistic, personal salvation of becoming saved.
It is this interpretive perversion that allows self-proclaimed Christian leaders the theological framework to align themselves with power that oppresses and excludes.
It is not enough, then, to say that Jesus would condemn the xenophobic race-baiting so eagerly displayed by many of our political and so-called religious leaders today.
Rather, what we must see is that Jesus is the very refugee being denied entry.
Ultimately, Christian faith, if it does anything at all, expands the horizon of God’s embrace. And it does not do this alone. The world’s great spiritual teachers move us to the truth of an existential reality where everything, and everyone, is radically reconciled and included.
Our salvation, then, is not a movement to personal glorification, individualism, and greed — rather, it is a process whereby we understand that we are deeply bound together with everyone else, and that it matters how we treat those whom we are tempted to marginalize and oppress.
This is the theological framework that drives our work with young people at All Saints.
It is a framework that explores the unfathomable depth of God’s love for all people — a framework that helps structure a reality where the work of helping one another and embracing our strength in community becomes the defining way in which we answer the complex and numerous problems facing our world today.
So as we pull our gaze away from the desire to make salvation all about ourselves, let us begin to re-engage the complex and deep reality of a model of faith that strives to make communities, not just individuals, whole.