The numerous parked cars framed the driveway of our neighbor’s home. As we drove past it, my father remarked to me, “Oh-oh! It’s clap clap day!”
I was only eight years old but was bemused by my father’s observation and thought he meant they were celebrating an event. “Is it someone’s birthday?” I naively asked.
“No,” my father explained. “Uncle Jake gets together with his family and friends and they pray.”
Uncle Jake was my father’s closest friend and my sister and I referred to him as “Uncle” as a term of endearment, very common amongst families in Hawaii.
“Why do you call it ‘clap clap’ day?”
“When they get together to pray, they clap their hands a lot.”
I was confused. “Why don’t they pray in church?”
“They don’t go to church. They have a different religion and meet in Uncle Jake’s home.”
“How do you know this?”
“One day, I had to drop off something at his house and they were meeting. I heard them chanting and then they would clap once, chant, then clap again.”
Now I understood the meaning. Many years passed before I learned what religion Uncle Jake’s family believed. He and his wife were two of the kindest and most generous persons I knew and I hoped that someday I could learn some of the things they believed in because I wanted to be just like them.
Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
John 6:54 (NKJV)
At a very early age, I learned about my uncle’s religion through a second-hand observation. While it initially sounded strange, I was willing to look beyond their traditions and recognize the change it produced in their lives. It is not difficult to conceive how one may hear things about Christians that upon first hearing, may seem peculiar. The Words of the Bible are often quoted out of context or misquoted. This verse taken from the Gospel of John is a record of Jesus Christ speaking to His disciples and the Jewish leaders of His day. Jesus was speaking metaphorically about how faith in God meant to solely rely upon God’s teaching as if it were our only true food and drink. Just before He died on the Cross, Jesus broke bread and shared a cup of wine with His disciples stating that it symbolically represented His Body, that would soon be broken for them, and His blood, that would be shed on their behalf. Jesus commanded His disciples that whenever they meet, they should partake of the wine and bread in remembrance of what Jesus did and to proclaim Jesus’ sacrifice until He returns to earth. Christians remember Jesus’ death and resurrection by the Holy Communion. A casual observer may hear of the Communion and charge that Christians literally eat the flesh and drink the blood of their god, practicing pagan rituals akin to a primitive tribe.
Jesus Christ stated, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6). There is truth in many religions and philosophies of the world and these beliefs should be respected and understood. But if one is searching for the Absolute Truth, it requires an earnest and deliberate investigation into what Jesus Christ proclaimed and the life He lived. All religions cannot be paths to the same God. Either Jesus Christ is God, who He claimed to be, or He is a liar or lunatic.
I pray that if you are searching for God and the Truth, you will seriously consider the claims of Jesus Christ.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.