2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. John 14:2
I fill most of my writing with thoughts about my Higher Power. It’s not always what I want to put forth to you, my readers. The crazy world of politics, government, society’s ills, intolerance, hatred, crime, (and the list can go on indefinitely), are also topics that fill the space between my ears. But, when deciding any type of action I take in these areas, it always comes back to Jesus, WWJD, What Would Jesus Do?
In my world Jesus is not always an entity, a historical person whom we celebrate in scriptures and especially during the Christmas season. Jesus is more often a lifestyle. He is a path of sober-living which brings peace and joy into my life. I have learned to avoid theological discourse which claims inerrancy and infallibility because they are always right and I am always going to hell. The Lord of my life is open to rational and reasonable conversation about eternity and God. The Lord of my life tells me talking the talk is nice, but ultimately life is all about the walk. Where am I walking today? Whose path am I taking?
God is big. God is so big that trying to pigeon-hole God categorically into a theology, another man-made philosophy, is akin to squeezing a camel through the eye of a needle. Can’t be done! The God I know is mysterious and incomprehensible to the human mind. Therefore, when someone tells me all about God, where HE lives, how He looks, what HE thinks, I can only listen patiently and then respond, “Really, God is a HE?” That disarms even the most strident of those who have all the answers. Larry’s going to hell for sure!
God and I enjoy this life. Jesus is the message inspired by ancient mystics who came before me to spread the good news of a loving and compassionate Spirit which gives humanity a logical, reasonable way of living. The ancients during and following the life of the physical Jesus called it “the Way.” They were not theologians or scholars. Rather they were just like you and me, people searching for a way to commune with the God of our understanding.
Jesus is not a person merely to be adored and worshipped, although that is a wonderful way to enter the quiet spaces within us. Jesus is a manner of living which brings God’s Kingdom to me, right here and right now. I don’t have to wait for a future moment to be with God eternally because I am already there. And that is the difference which makes life a joyful adventure instead of a tolerably painful existence.
“5“Lord,” said Thomas, “we do not know where You are going, so how can we know the way?” 6Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. 7If you had known Me, you would know My Father as well.” John 14: 5-7
This verse can be difficult for those who see Jesus exclusively as a God-human rather than a manner of sober-living to be experienced and followed. It is the verse most often used by exclusionary religionists to proclaim that Christianity is the only path which leads to eternity with God. My journey tells me that, as with most of the words attributed to Jesus, the meaning of this verse,”I am the way, the truth, and the life”, is better understood when taken in a spiritual sense. Should we consider that Jesus was not presenting Jesus as an entity to be revered and worshipped, but rather, as an example for all people to follow if they want release from this world’s soul prison?
The authors of Christian scriptures tell me that in his lifetime, Jesus shared his teachings with all people, Jew and Gentile. I must remember that Jesus and his contemporaries lived under extreme oppression and hardship enforced by the Jewish hierarchy and the Roman conquerors. The Israelites were concerned with an earthly salvation immediately, in this life, not a distant occurrence in a future life. However, Jesus was promising relief from the Jews and the Romans not as a physical deliverance, but as a spiritual and mental exercise, a way of living, which would supersede the harshness of their society. It emphasized release of self-serving behavior and surrender to the indwelling spirit of holiness. “The Way” in those oppressive times has not changed. In our personal oppressive times it is a way today to a completeness and unity with the God of our understanding.
“Let go; let God” is a message which I encounter often in my sojourn. It is often interpreted as “let go of the situation and let God take it over.” It can also mean “let go of myself and let God come inside.” Works for me.