|I know there are many of you, my friends, who have taken years
to recover from the cults of worshipping Jesus as more than man.
In your youth you were given no choice. Jesus was presented as
the key to a heaven that existed in the clouds of unknowing and
the fear of death.
As you grew through adolescence and discovered a world of life,
it seemed that Jesus was something to leave behind, forever tainted
by the ignorance and fear that was preached to you, in his name.
And now we often tell each other that Jesus was the Wayshower,
and that his accomplishments do nothing for us until we each learn
to repeat them. I understand the emphasis, I understand the reasoning,
and I will not ask anyone to change the way that they think of Jesus
as an elder brother and the first of many who will live in Christ.
For this day that we celebrate as the anniversary of his birth,
I want to tell you what Jesus means to me.
When I was a child, I chose to be a Catholic by birth, baptism
and confirmation. I believed in God, and I worshipped Jesus,
trying to build the sense of holy shame that I was told would
make the offering of my soul acceptable to God. As I got older,
it seemed to me that this form of worship was based on hatred,
fear, and indifference. I rememberreading catechisms that were
designed to answer questions I had never even considered, as if
asking God to reveal himself was the greatest insult to the Creator
of intelligence and love. This makes no sense, of course.
I read about philosophy and science and the many religions of
man. I was not satisfied with being satisfied about God and the
universe. I could see that people who came to conclusions and
then tried to use them to convince their neighbors, were driven
by fear and the desire to shout down that fear, no matter how
they called it love and concern.
And I came back to God through metaphysics and New Thought, and
along the way I met Jesus Christ. I found that the person who always
agrees with me the most is Jesus, as I read his words in the Gospels.
There are some scholars of great reputation who say that many or most
of the words said to be Jesus', are not his. But their reputations
with time, and the words of Jesus will go on. What they are really
saying, is that they do not know.
My job for almost thirty years has been in information
processing. I am amazed to see the scholars arguing
about the truth or falsity of the Gospels according the
record of their transmission, and the structure of the
information. This would make sense of the data being
transmitted was random noise. But if the information
being given is a spiritual formula for knowing God,
what we can do is put it to work and see if it works.
Many of the ideas presented by Jesus are found in other
religions. What Jesus adds, for me, is attitude. He has an
attitude towards knowing the truth, and creating a life that
is a relationship to God, that inspires me to attempt the same
in my own life. I know that some who would discourage me
from the attempt, call on his name in doing so. I have
heard them say that God loves Jesus more than he loves us, but
Jesus doesn't say what these people say.
I have heard that is is taught that faith is believing what
someone else says about God without knowing it yourself.
This is a lie. Jesus says that if you rely on your traditions,
or on the word of others who claim spiritual authority, you will
lose your way to God. You are responsible for knowing God
yourself. No one can do it for you. Faith is believing what
God knows about you.
I do not know every thought of Jesus, the man who accepted that
he was completely the Christ. But I believe that his thought is greater
than the thought of anyone who has ever tried to explain his thought,
or explain it away. He said, you will do greater things than I have.
said, because I have taught you what I know, you are no longer
my servants, but my equals. He believed that what made him special
is what he knew, and he believed that we could learn it.
Everything he says inspires me to believe that he thought we are
in the same relation to God that he knew for himself. Why bother to
teach us a language we would be incapable of speaking? Why teach
us to parrot thoughts we could never know?
I think the Gospel writers knew that they did not understand
Jesus. In this they have the advantage over many who have
followed through the years, relying on a secondhand set of
dogmas and a foolish intellectual theology that is a poor stand
in for direct knowledge of God. If I desire to convince you of
the nature of God, I do not understand the nature of God's relation
I know that I do not know all of Jesus. I do know that the faint
and fractured echoes of his teachings have transformed the world
forever. Iseek to follow for myself the trail he has blazed. If you
to call him Wayshower or Son of God, I will agree with you, but I will
not stop with what you tell me to believe. I would rather swallow his
gnats than your camels.
I agree with Jesus that none is good but God. I agree with Jesus
that the most important thing is to take a chance and get to know God
directly, by using my talents and loving Gods creation. I agree
with Jesus that it is a mistake to stop thinking, no matter whether
use scripture or tradition for an excuse. I agree with Jesus that
sometimes I can't see my way clearly, but I know that everything that
come into my life is a result of my desires and has come to bless me.
I agree with Jesus that when I believe in suffering that I have turned
my face away from God, and for best results I should turn back to God
and sacrifice the idea of suffering. I agree with Jesus that to love
neighbor and yourself is to love God. I agree with Jesus that the universe,
and myself are a unity, and every time I see divisions and separations
forgetting something about myself and God.
I agree with Jesus that no matter how perfect my relationship
with God, there comes a time in each change where I am afraid that
will forget who I am. I agree with Jesus that despite that fear, I
my faith in God and go on. I agree with Jesus that God loves me without
limit, without conditions, and without reservations, and that his love
for me is beyond my comprehension. I agree with Jesus to submit to
love of God, and forgive God for my fear.
I know that some of you think I have created these ideas,
whether you think the ideas are good or bad. I will say that they are
own, and I do not think them good or bad as people count things, just
way things are. If they are God, then they are good. I find every
one of these ideas in the sayings and examples of Jesus.
I agree with Jesus that what is good comes from God. If
something good comes to you from thinking on these things, it came
Jesus keeps showing me the way. He lives.
God bless you all my friends, and ask God for your blessings.