“We need to be more concerned with following Jesus, which he told us to do numerous times, and less with worshipping Jesus—which he never once told us to do.”
Whomever we name as Lord and Savior has to be the guiding essence in our lives. As one brought up in the Christian tradition, I of course have Jesus as my reference point. I believe the teachings and the words attributed to this messenger of God are the entirety of what a person needs to live life successfully and compassionately. His disciples addressed him as “Rabboni” meaning teacher or master. He was not viewed as a preacher, a figure we are more comfortable with in Western Christianity. He did not chastise his followers with threats and condemnation from his pulpit. No, the Jesus we see in the Bible was always in the midst of everyday life, enjoying the company of fellow Jews, partying at weddings, consoling hurting friends, and practicing what he knew as the truth.
That is what western Christianity has lost in its zeal to convert the world. It exhorts proselytes to bow and worship before crosses and man-created theologies rather than to get out there, rub elbows with all of God’s creation and humanity, and be a light in a darkened world by following the examples set by Rabboni.
Jesus endorses freedom of thought and justice for all humanity through actions of love, peace, compassion and inclusion. I must believe that if Jesus and Buddha had met , they would have smiled on the world and greeted each other with Jesus saying, “God’s peace be with you.”
Buddha would have folded his hands, bowed his head, and returned with, “Namaste”, meaning I bow to the Divine in you.
What a wonderful world we could have if we all pretended to be Jesus and Buddha bowing and respecting each other’s chosen path to enlightenment.