Let me tell you a story, a special story. It is my favourite story. An old story, it is still fresh and ever new. It is a love story.
God made the world and everything in it, including you and I. This, so far, is a story shared by many religions. When he made us, he gave us something special: free will, free agency, the ability to choose between right and wrong, good and evil, and the opportunity to do so. This was risky: in so doing, we could choose wrong, evil. We could choose to disrespect what he did, and to mar and destroy it. Sadly, we did all those things. We could not destroy God himself, but we could harm and destroy what he made, and we did. We estranged ourselves from him.
God had every right to be angry with us. Indeed, many religions are full of divine retribution. Yet instead of crushing us in anger, God did something very different. He became a human being: Jesus. He became an ordinary man in an ordinary place at an ordinary time, but he did something extraordinary: he made himself vulnerable, to reveal his heart to us. He showed us what he had intended for us: good, not evil; love, not hate; life, not death. But we did not accept his message. To silence Jesus, we killed him. Yes, you and me both. We shut him up, dead.
But he did not stay dead. Jesus rose again to life, in a way that could not be silenced. Yet, astonishingly, still he did not crush us. In reply to betrayal, injustice and death, he offered forgiveness, redemption, life. We could not stop him from loving us, no matter what. Yes, we still have free will: we are still free agents. But so is he, and he showed it. We could not stop him, silence him, stifle him: he loves us and will never stop loving us. We can only stop ourselves from loving him back.
From here, the rest of the story is yet unwritten. Will we love him back or not? Jesus offers himself to us. Will we accept? Will we live with him happily ever after? The ending is up to us.
Each religion has a story. One religion is a love story, a deeply personal one. That religion is Christianity. The lover is Jesus. The loved one is us. The story is not over yet. Now comes our part.