Dear Light Group,
Almost one-third of the world’s population or 2.2 billion people are Christians. This Sunday, a good portion of those two billion-plus people will be worshipping Jesus in greater numbers and with greater intensity than at any other time of the year. Easter pulls the masses and packs the churches.
Great good came come from this. There can be a reaffirmation of fundamental Christian values such as faith, charity, and love. There can be a strengthening of spiritual communities. There can be a sense that one is touching the hem of the Divine.
But what of the worshipping of Jesus? Salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ, say many Christians. We’re all sinners, they say, and the only way to redemption, the only way to avoid Hell, is through Christ Jesus. If you believe that, then worshipping Jesus is a good idea.
Another way of interpreting what Jesus said lays out a narrower but more direct path to the Divine. In that reading of what Jesus said, we are guided to know and to connect with the Divine ourselves–not through an intermediary such as Jesus, but directly, ourselves. The prayer he gave us does not guide us to pray to Jesus. It begins, “Our Father, which art in heaven….” So, we’re being instructed to pray, not to Jesus, but to the Divine.
And what of Jesus telling us in the Sermon on the Mount, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.” This would indicate that God is available to us–directly, without an intermediary–at all times, that if we’re really interested in finding the truth, all we have to do is ask.
Then, in the Book of John, Jesus says, “Verily, verily, I say unto you: He that heareth my work and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life….” When we truly believe in God, we have everlasting life. It’s as simple as that. Again, we note that Jesus did not say that belief in Jesus was the key to everlasting life; it’s belief in God.
Also in the Book of John, Jesus gave us one of the keys to knowing the Divine–and what at the same time may be the hardest thing to live. In the fifth chapter, Jesus is quoted as saying, “I can of mine own self do nothing….I seek not mine own will but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” Knowing and doing the will of the Divine–rather than the will of our individual egos–is much trickier than most people realize. Getting our egos out of the way so that we have a clear path to the Divine can be difficult and often is learned through missteps, however well-intentioned they may be.
In our prayers this Holy Saturday (and on Easter Sunday), let us give thanks for Jesus. He showed us a new and better way. Let us also pray that our connection with the Divine be one that is direct, true, and pure. Just as Jesus told us it could be.
You may want to try prayer such as this one: “Thank you, God, for Jesus. Thank you, God, for this great Light in our midst, who showed us a better way. Let us rise up, Lord, to live the truths he gave us in our daily lives. And let us surrender, Lord, to Thy Light, Thy Truth, and Thy Spirit, that we may know Thee and live Thy ways all the days of our lives. Amen.”
Love and Light,