Christ

What Dreams May Come

 

“If you can dream it, then you can achieve it. You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want” ~ Zig Ziglar

 

Now that the ethnocentric American version of the end of the world didn’t happen, there is still a sense of a new era dawning.

 

As horrific, brutal, and devastating as the Sandy Hook shootings were, other equally horrific, brutal, and devastating things are happening every day, in every culture, society, and city in our world. Racism, tribalism, sexism, classism, and hate crimes of all variety abound.

 

As Americans face the fiscal cliff, and blame it all on Obama and/or Bush, other nations are facing economic devastation of their own, probably criticizing and blaming their leaders, in similar fashion as we do our own.

 

At the same time we politic against GMO’s and advocate for food labels, people everywhere are starving – not because there isn’t enough food, but because access is lacking – usually due to finances but sometimes due to transportation or physical ability.

 

While we help our own from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, other parts of our country, and many areas of the world, have yet to recover from floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, and man-made disasters over the past decade.

 

The list goes on.

 

The world continues to rotate.

 

Our lives don’t stop.

 

The world didn’t end.

 

What if these are the contractions and pains of something being born?

 

What follows is excerpted from words credited to Bolivian President Evo Morales from a speech to the UN in September 2012:

 

the 21st of December …. It is the end of the Macha & the beginning of the Pacha. It is the end of selfishness & the beginning of brotherhood. It is the end of individualism & the beginning of collectivism …­ It is the end of hatred & the beginning of love. The end of lies & the beginning of truth. It is the end of sadness & the beginning of joy. It is the end of division & the beginning of unity. … ~ The Galactic Free Press, 30 November 2012

 

One of my religious Christian friends got slightly offended and confused when I shared the meme these words were part of because his interpretation was that it was about solely trusting in mankind for the salvation of mankind. For those of you who don’t ascribe to the Christian belief system, this makes complete sense. For those of us caught in between belief and skepticism, between faith and doubt, it is an area of spiritual dissonance.

 

The way I see it is that almost universally, regardless of national, cultural, or religious origins just about everyone believes in something outside of themselves as a unifying force. For some this is science, for others it is God (by any specific name, or pantheon of names), some consider it to be love, or even an unidentified cosmic energy. The truth is we don’t KNOW, with absolute 100% evidentiary certainty there is anything other than us.

 

I believe and choose to call that force of good and unification a God of Love, as manifested in the incarnation of Jesus. According to my understanding of the various interpretations and versions of the bible, the Word of God, the presences of God stopped being carried in the Ark of the Covenant and was released from being accessed only in the Holy of Holies in the Temple once Christ ascended. At which point the Holy presence of God’s spirit, which is Love, then inhabited His people and His children.

 

Here’s where I really become heretical. Christ died once for ALL. God’s redemptive love is UNCONDITIONAL. Therefore, ALL of HUMANITY can receive and have the indwelling of the redemptive spirit of love. Regardless of what name it is given. There are fruits of the spirit of love. If love is present, then those fruits will be present, whether we have the same name we call it by.

 

So, until there is a new heaven and a new earth, all of humanity, living and existing here on this earth, side by side get to decide if they are going to allow the spirit of love to rule their hearts, their minds, their words and their actions. Those humans who call themselves Christians are the walking, talking. living, breathing embodiment of the Body of the Bride of Christ, the Church, and instead of arguing over terminology and group think, we should be leading the way for the rest of humanity to:

 

  • end selfishness and be in brother/sisterhood
  • let go of individualism and recognize our part in the collective
  • stop acting in hate and show love
  • discern lies, stop spreading them, and live in truth
  • stop propagating the things that sadden the world around us and promote those things which bring joy

 

What if we stopped labeling and limiting God and ourselves and just moved forward into Pacha?

 

Yes, I was thinking of this movie and it’s themes when writing this post and giving it’s title.

 

 

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Entering the kingdom of God

I am not a theologian. I have not attended doctrinal classes, been educated in a specific religious institution, and did not grow up in a church community or in a family with a religious heritage. I have attended and participated in a large number of church communities from various denominations over the course of the past two and a half decades. Within each of these communities and denominations there may have been different sets of traditions, expectation, doctrines and norms, but at the center of each of them was Jesus, the Christ.

Every one of them taught, in one way or another that God is Love, Jesus is God, and God so loved the world that Jesus came, allowed himself to be sacrificed, and went back to be with God as a means to allow us flawed, broken, and wounded humans a chance to be reconciled with God. That the character and nature of God as exemplified in Jesus is Love.

We have all this pain and suffering in our lives and in our world. We have all these experience where hatred and evil action cause devastation of people and communities. Many times these things are done by people claiming the name of God, Jesus, or Allah. I’ll let you in on a little secret. The same God of the Jews, is the same God of the Muslims, is the same God of the Christians. Father Abraham, who started out as Abram was promised a son. When it didn’t happen within a reasonable and believable way, Abraham’s wife, Sarah, who was Sarai, took matters into her own hands and following the laws and customs of the land in that time, had her slave, Hagar, get pregnant as a surrogate. After the fact, Sarah regretted her decision because of how it altered her relationship with Hagar, Hagar’s relationship with Abraham, and Sarah’s thoughts and feelings about it all. She treated Hagar horribly and as a result Hagar ran away with her son Ishmael and was going to let them both die in the desert. God came to her and made her a promise as well. So, both Isaac and Ishmael are son’s of God’s promise. They were half brothers and it is their lines that became the Jewish and Islamic genetic lines. Jesus, the Christ was born of Isaac’s line, so he’s also related to Ishmael’s lines. Christians are adopted into Isaac’s line, so we are all one big unhappy family fighting each other for a father’s love, when the father has enough love for us all.

We take unloving action out of a desperate need to feel and believe that we are loved because we have gotten our perception and definition of love from other, damaged human beings with distorted definitions of what love is. The problem isn’t God’s nature or character, the problem is our characters and natures have been so altered that we can’t trust or believe in that nature. We try to limit God the way we have limited ourselves and others. We put boxes and labels on Him and on His love because we have been labeled and put into boxes ourselves.

I used to believe that I had to know the why of everything and have the “right” answer. I still automatically tend to think and react as though I am the one responsible to “fix” the problem and have the answer. I have felt like a liar and a fraud when I “knew” what the answer was and what the “right” thing to do was and for whatever reason did the wrong thing anyway. As humans, that tends to be how we think things work. We attach things like approval, agreement, tolerance, bias, right and wrong to love. We don’t understand and accept that love is unconditional.

Jesus taught that the kingdom of God was “at hand,” meaning the kingdom of God is present in the here and now, not just as an unattainable, undefined, mysterious thing that happens after we die. Rich men would have a hard time entering the kingdom, because their possessions become more important than doing what it takes to show love to others. It is a narrow and limited path that only a few will enter because too many choose their own sense of right, wrong and judgment of others over loving unconditionally.

Entering the kingdom of God is as simple and difficult as choosing to love others unconditionally, regardless of who they are, where they come from, and what they’ve done. The only way to do that is to believe and trust that is the way God loves us. There is nothing separating us from God’s love, for His love is unconditional. Our beliefs and perceptions that we are separated are lies that we tell ourselves and have heard from others. The thing that prevents us from experiencing that love is that we falsely think that the love is tainted or doesn’t exist.

One of the photo platitudes that is so popular on Facebook came through my newstream today.

Don’t allow your wounds to turn you into a person you are not.

I realized that I have been actively working to turn this around and that I am working to regain the me I was meant to be after allowing my wounds to turn me into a person I don’t like.

If God loves me, then I should love me. If I can love me, then I can love you. I can love you because God loves me. This is the kingdom of God. Will you enter it with me?