I want to share some of the ideas I spoke about yesterday. I'm still contemplating them. (See some more of these ideas in my October 30th entry.)
First of all, it was the 100th anniversary of the Armistice. Over the course of WW1, 9 million combatants and 7 million civilians died - mostly Christians killing Christians. I wonder who thought that was a good idea? I try to imagine the conversation as maybe a sales pitch. How do people get convinced to do such horrible things?
I moved into persons in the Bible and some of their turning points. There are many ways to read the Bible, and one is it is the story of humanity and our struggles to move into relationship with God. It is our story.
Adam and Eve, symbolizing the beginning of human life, born innocent, lost their innocence and lived the rest of their lives east of Eden, wanting to return. We too are born innocent, but we learn things like we're not good enough and also want to return to innocence, but also live east of Eden.
Or think of Abraham. He lived in Ur and experienced God guiding him to pick up all his possessions and people and move to Palestine. Because he listened, prosperity and many good things came to him. Like Abraham, our ancestors heard the call and moved to a new country or city. My dad's ancestors heard the call and moved to America from Ireland in 1730. We hear the call to a profession, to a spouse or to write a blog. Sometimes we answer the call, or sometimes, like Jonah, we resist.
There are prophets in the Bible, mostly scolding. We are prophetic too. Think of the times you said, " I knew I shouldn't have done that! " You knew, you were prophetic.
There many examples of applying their stories to our lives as we discover our shared human story. I hope I got you started and you can carry on with applications to your life.
I want to consider Jesus of history, what he did and what he taught, in distinction from what others later said it meant to follow The Way. The original teaching could be called Alpha, the first. It came to me that he gave us to do lists. These things invite us into his understanding of God and life and how to live it. His parables draw us in and suddenly we see with new eyes. Reread Mark, Matthew and Luke, plus James and make a list of what he suggests we do in one column and what he tells us we have to believe in the other column.
Later people made up lists of what to believe. We could call Beta all that came second or hundredth as people created rules, regulations, and theologies. Most of them were well meaning. They couldn't seem to cope with the simple to do list from Jesus, so they had many convoluted theologies including the ridiculous (how many angels sit on the head of a pin?)
Jesus asked us to help create the kingdom of God here in earth, a kingdom of justice and compassion and relationship with God. If we focused on the Alpha, the original teachings, I think we could answer that invitation to enter in to a sacred relationship that calls us make this world a wondrous place for everyone. Just as surely as God called Abraham, he calls us this very day. The invitation has been issued. What will we do? How will we repond?