I have heard a lot of different thoughts about a deity beyond only the physical. Even those who do not believe in a deity seem to have a relationship with the deity they do not believe in. And those “lost tribes” used as evidence for “no God needed” have a close relationship with the seasons, the moon, the sun and stars – with the mystique and wonder of nature.
I look at these beautifully detailed programmes on nature, see the awe of scientists who have studied a species for years, and who know they still only scratch the surface. I see awe. Awe in those who study others, who study themselves, who are connected, who study connections. Who are alive to this world we all live in.
I love “awe” … !
Awe for others – other people, other animals, others’ relationships, other systems, other ways of life, other beliefs, others’ wonder, others’ curiosity, others’ strengths and others’ differences.
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.”
Is about my relationship with you today and right-now. Is about the detail of my relationship with others – you reading this – me reading others’ words – me with my family, me with strangers – me with those I know and don’t know – those I pass by without noticing but who notice me. I am in awe!
If I believe OR don’t believe – how did anyone come up with that reason for me to be a better person each second right now AND without saying that aloud?
And the explanation (now quoted by all who teach and preach): “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
I am still in awe. Each one of us – no matter colour, race, religion or birth is as important as the other. Each one is sacred. Each one is important. I am sacred. I am important. No less than you. And you no less than me.
And then the bit “believers” never say to others but think a lot (if they are anything like I was): “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
And we are back to belief and religion. Them and us. Saved and sinner. Rewarded or punished. And the stuff I see littered with myth, control, religion, culture, and the time these words were written into: “Chosen People: V2 – now follow me (a different way)”
And it is that “time written into” and the man-made elements of religion and control that cause me to step back. To not be in awe. To question why that stuff has to apply to me today. To step back from the big open doorway each Sunday.
I have an evolving living relationship with the Essence of this Christian thing. I am in awe of the Essence. Something I know as Love.
But I am less in awe of those who insist “that” must be defined as follows, that I must “believe” as defined by those who define, that I must “belong” to those who define what that means. That IS relationship – just not with the Essence. It is relationship with the self-appointed gatekeepers and guardians. It is relationship with “the people”.
And I have no idea who is a sheep and who is a goat. I have no idea if I am a sheep or I am a goat. So I stick with the Essence.
Where each is sacred, each is loved, and each is as important as the other. Because whether I am saved or unsaved is the best guess of religion’s gate-keeping traditions and definitions.
And I read the bible and see where that certainty got them!