As we grow in our humanity, our ideas and concepts of God grow along with us.
There is the truth that we were crafted in the image of God, meaning that we were an envisioned and intentional aspect of divine intelligence. Then there is the truth that in order to bridge the gap between our mortal bodies and the eternal life that fills us, we have created ideas and images of God, ourselves.
As above, so below.
And in this handy work on both parts humanity and divinity, we find the coordinates for God’s Earth in one part of the spectrum and the visceral human world in another.
They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them.
See figure 1. (Vesica Pisces)
The common aspects of love, life, death, connection to others, service, wanting to be remembered, holding value for living things, having compassion for others, possessing courage, faith and understanding, coming of age, growing ill, caring for the ill, dying, acts of remembrance, eternal life…Each and every culture and world religion carries this chromosome within its genetic makeup; these are the backbones of universal truth and deep understanding.
An even deeper truth is that we are humans living on God’s Earth and God speaks to every human with the same love and compassion whether said human is a woman, man, gay, straight, trans, cis, Muslim, Indo-Chinese, Slave, Communist, Socialist, humble or egomaniac. God is still speaking, using everyone’s life, culture, circumstances, and modes of understanding to teach us compassion, grace, mercy, goodwill, and above all else, love.
Yes, even if you don’t understand it or agree.
The Peace of Christ, Obscura.
It is no secret that Christianity is not the most favored religion on the planet. Perhaps it is because of the many holy wars and bloodshed from times of dust all the way to the zealous murder of innocent people, deemed justifiable somewhere in someone’s twisted psyche, because of a Bible verse taken out of context.
Somewhere along the way, we stopped following Christ and instead followed political oligarchs who fed us a taste of supremacy and tempted us with the idea that our brothers and sisters and children from all over the world were not, at all, like us. They distracted us with incendiary lies: the difference of their skin color, style of dress, and religious observances made them worthy of rejection, hatred, and extermination. How did this happen? What happened to the commandment of non-violence and non-harming?
|Exodus 14:14||The Lord will fight for you; you have only to be still.|
|Numbers 6:24||May the Lord bless you…and give you peace|
|Numbers 12:3||Moses was more humble than anyone else….|
|Deuteronomy 9:5||Not because of your righteousness, but their wickedness…|
|Deuteronomy 17:16||The king must not acquire great numbers of horses…|
|Joshua 24:12||You did not (drive them out) by your own sword and bow|
|1 Samuel 2:9||It is not by strength that one prevails;|
|1 Samuel 8:11||The king will take your sons…and the Lord will not answer|
|1 Samuel 10:19||You have rejected God…and asked for a king|
|1 Samuel 17:47||It is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves;|
|1 Samuel 25:33||May you be blessed…for keeping me from bloodshed/vengeance|
|1 Chronicles 22:8||You have fought many wars…and are not to build a house for my Name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in my sight. But you will have a son who will be a man of peace|
|1 Chronicles 28:3||You are not to build God’s house because you are a warrior|
|Psalms 35:20||(The ungodly) make false accusations against those living quietly|
|Psalms 44:3||It was not by their sword that they won their land….|
|Psalms 44:6||My sword does not bring me victory…|
|Psalms 46:8||He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth|
|Psalms 68:30||Scatter the nations who delight in war.|
What if it were possible to turn off 24-hour news, isolate ourselves from war and greed and hate mongering and connect to the vulnerability within without listening to the lie that our vulnerability is weakness? That lie causes us to harden ourselves against the peace of Christ.
Addressing the War Within.
We have to be able to look our personal issues in the face and address them with truth and loving kindness.
These demons, if not addressed, seep into our faith, diminishing it and creating prejudices and fear. This fear causes us to act against the words of our King of kings –causing violence within the chambers of our hearts.
In order to truly submit to God, we have to desire to seek God’s face; we have to want to know God in all forms: male, female, animal, vegetable, mineral, challenge, comfort, disease, and cure –all of which are occurring inside of us. Right. Now. This means that what we see around us is a call from our inner sanctum. sometimes the Holy Spirit acts as a projector of messages sprouting inside of us that we need to actively seek and heal as holy work in the world.
As I have decided to become a follower of Jesus, I find myself in mixed company that sometimes makes me very uncomfortable and agitated. There are bigots, zealots, purists and fundamentalists (I was once one of them) –misguided humans who want to control the mouth of God and speak in God’s tongue. Sometimes I wonder what I am doing here among all of these strangers. I feel like the woman who bled for twelve years, reaching out in a sea of fervent people desperate to find peace and healing with God.
While I am deeply inspired by and feel very connected to God, there aren’t many people that share my cultural situatedness. I believe evolution is real, science is necessary, and all paths are sacred.
Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism. In every nation he accepts those who fear him and do what is right.”
Acts 10: 34-35
I am certainly not a proponent of everyone thinking like I think, but instead acting as Jesus did. He came here to teach us the way.
Jesus Lives…WITH Us (Can we Please Behave Ourselves?).
Jesus is living. Alive and well. Among us in the the two realms that we’ve discussed and many others we have yet to discover. Therefore, since Jesus lives, He evolves, evolves with us so that we may seek Him in fresh and enlightening ways. He sends unlikely teachers that, if we are blinded by prejudice and captured by fear, we will surely miss the BLESSON (blessing and lesson).
Distractions: That Damned Golden Calf Again.
With the state our western culture is in right now, I would say that 2017 is the year of the golden calf. We have people that are acting in positions of leadership that do not reflect the humility and service of the spirit of God and yet, here we are.
He took this from their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool and made it into a molten calf; and they said, “This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.”
While we are distracted by shiny things and forked tongues, we sometimes forget to thank the One who actually did all the work to deliver us from bondage. We then get caught up in the hot pursuit of power – possessing it and possessing it over others – that we end up missing out on what God really wants us to experience. Who knows what that could be; I don’t. Instead I surrender all to ALL.
Healing the Body of Christ, A Wish List.
If you had a wish list for the progress and health of the body of Christ what would it be? What do you feel the world needs most at this moment, for humanity’s highest good and best potential to see God’s true form, true face? This is my wish list:
- The End of Bigotry: Let us welcome other cultures and ideologies and discover common ground.
- The Opening of Minds – Let us not close ourselves off to truth, even in frightening places.
- Freedom for All– Let us not impress unfair acts of violence upon any nation, culture, creed, sexuality or gender identity.
- The End of Political Divisiveness – Let us not be swayed by the self-interest or misguided moralism intended to separate us. We all deserve inalienable rights to our bodies, minds, and spirits.
- Allow Progress – Let us not forget that this is God’s world, all of it. As the world changes, God helps us to understand the mystery of life, one truth at a time.
- Open to Love – Love God above all else and love your fellow human. We are a family, connected by a heart bond. Choosing to love is the most important act of virtue.
- The Beginning of the Greatest Era of Service – Faith + works = power. Let us proliferate acts of kindness, putting others before ourselves, and opening doors to deeper faith through acts of volunteerism and social justice.
God, please help us.