Christianity is a group of people who believe that Jesus of Nazareth (or Jesus Christ) is truly a human being and truly God (The Supreme Being).
With Him as the centre and focus of their lives they try to live in accordance with his teaching and example; by loving , supporting and sharing with each other.
The Christian (that is the disciple of Jesus Christ) believes that God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, became a human being called Jesus of Nazareth who invited us to live like, and in union with, our Creator (be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect) and the way to do this is to have a relationship with Him (Jesus) and follow his example in all things. (“Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.”)
The teaching and example he gives us is that of a life of service towards others and of self giving for the sake of others. A service which recognised no boundaries or divisions.
His promise to those who totally trust Him and are truly dedicated to Him is peace and joy in this life and Eternal Life after death. (‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.’)
The huge difference between Christianity and all other religions is that Jesus of Nazareth is not just the prophet or teacher who was sent to tell us about and lead us to the Kingdom of God/Heaven.
Jesus of Nazareth is the ‘Kingdom of God.’ Jesus of Nazareth is the ‘pearl of great price‘. Jesus of Nazareth is the ‘treasure hidden in a field.’ Jesus of Nazareth is ‘God with us’ – Immanuel.
Jesus of Nazareth is the Supreme Being; Creator of heaven and of earth.
Therefore in Christianity, to be authentic and relevant, all religious practise, whether it be the liturgy, prayer, fasting, almsgiving, pilgrimage, devotions, or simply lighting a votive candle must lead directly from and lead directly to, Jesus of Nazareth.
As Pope Benedict says in his recent book; ‘Through Jesus’ presence and action, God has here and now entered actively into history in a wholly new way. ….. In Jesus, God is now the one who acts and rules as Lord —rules in a divine way, without worldly power, rules through the love that reaches ‘to the end,’ to the Cross.’