It’s often been said that “religion is for the weak”. I remember a time in my teenage years when an older man said this to me as I was sharing about my family and our commitment to attending church. I don’t know if he was trying to be helpful by sharing his perspective on life or intentionally attempting to demoralize me. Either way, it stuck with me as being rude and somehow incompatible with the God I knew.
To say that “religion is for the weak” assumes that weakness and humility is the antithesis of the human experience. It suggests that religion (in this case, the practice of faith in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit) has no place in modern day thinking. It suggests that the educated mind and first-world medicine, science, and pragmatism seem to contain every answer that we might ever need in our daily struggles or broader social issues. As a result, there is no need for a Messiah or Kingdom where God rules, reigns, loves, and protects.
But the Lord reveals a different narrative, a different reality that we as self-rulers of miniaturized counterfeit kingdoms often fail to acknowledge or see. In order for us to receive the message of the Gospel (the announcement of the Kingdom of God received by faith) as truly ‘good news’, we must first acknowledge that we are in fact spiritually, physically and morally weak. We are held captive by Satan, blind to our own sin, and in need of being set free from our fallen condition.
The Gospel is for those who acknowledge their weakness. And it’s in our weakness that we find the fully satisfying hope, grace, love, and supernatural strength that we long for in the announcement that “the Kingdom of God is here!”