“If you take away time, all you have left is eternity.”
I like mixing with those who are not bound by the taught structures of biblical knowledge.
“And if you take away time, you are always in the moment – so how could you ever become “bored” – to be bored you need to be counting time.”
And another of my questions tumbles: if we are to spend an eternity “in heaven” praising “God” – isn’t that a bit weird of God “to expect” that of us? Because if there is no time – then “praising God” for eternity is a meaningless concept. It might be a second or a millennium as no one is counting!
I have a brother who was brought up just like me, only five years before I arrived. Same parents, same way of living and beliefs, same churches and bibles, same “culture” and “nurturing” – same “generation”. He rejects God and all the “church stuff”. And yet he speaks thoughts that are of my God (by my name and understanding).
If you take away time, all you have left is eternity. Simples!
Another brother-by-a-different-mother recently mentioned that their God Jesus had asked them “What is My name?” And this brother had spent two years figuring it out. Each time they thought they “had it”, God Jesus would say “Close – but not close enough.” Two years! That is a long time! That is almost an eternity! That would bore me rigid!
So this morning I went googling. “What is my name” in as fast a few minutes as I could stomach! I am happy that others enjoy that kind of thing, but the effect on my eyesight? The ever smaller splitting of letters and language burns out my eyeballs! And an increasing number of my brain cells always unite calling ever more loudly: NO MORE, PAUL!
But along the way to that mutiny … Isn’t all this Aramaic, Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Arabic, English “stuff” focused on the New Testament: on the “very words of Jesus” (as written many decades after Jesus uttered them in some dusty and noisy place full of chattering people having fifteen conversations at the same time). Because all the sexy online “techie language stuff” works primarily with the New Testament (MOUNCE being one of the “techie language” stuffs). But ask online Mounce about the Old Testament, and it is a no-go-area.
And splashing about in google, “I Am” seems familiar – Old and New! And then more scholarly “stuff”: there are seven occasions Jesus used “I Am (and then some imagery)” in the New Testament. And “I Am” is the translation for God. So that means “Jesus” is “I Am” is “God”! And the precision of the “Present Tense” (rather than “I Was”) is what nearly got Him stoned ahead of the cross. And in unison with my revolting brain cells, GSHJ whispered:
“If you take away names, all you have left is Love.”
I like mixing with those who are not bound by the taught structures of biblical knowledge – just like my wondrous God Soft Hands Jesus. GSHJ never seems bound by all the scholarly stuff – not as we like to be bound. He can do it – He meets each of us where we are – in whatever place we prefer to be. And in my case “scholarly” is not our place – and He just keeps whispering “simplicity”:
If you take away time, all you have left is eternity. If you take away names, all you have left is Love.
My brother has spent my lifetime plus five years finding what I call God (and he does not). My brother-by-another-mother spent two years finding the name for Jesus (that satisfied their God). And my God keeps telling me to strip away all that scholarly stuff (and find Love).
And I have found this to be true: when we talk about “Love”, we may disagree on details – but we ALL agree on so MUCH!
(it’s just that it never seems to be enough)
Which Is why (I think) we make God stuff so complicated – why we cling to the “Holy Book” (whichever faith version you prefer or reject). And maybe it is because the “Holy Books” – just like the name of Jesus – have been interpreted and reinterpreted so often, that they are now “alien” to all of us as we speak “our name” for “our God” (or the God we reject). So why insist that you MUST “believe” what “I believe” – or we cannot be HugBuddies?
And why do we struggle to strip back all the “fluff” – all our beloved insulation keeping us from relationship (with our own God as much as you and “your god”) – and miss what is left …
An unconditional love that is the one place we can all connect.
Destiny’s Child: Say My Name: