Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wake Up!

Who was Jesus anyway? Was he a prophet, the son of God, or a simple teacher?

I am being to fall in love with Jesus. Jesus was a really interesting person, forget for a moment whether he was the Son of God, or the messiah, or the savior of the world. Jesus was cool. He had a temper, he could be a little caustic. He was annoyed with all the people following him all the time; he tried on several occasions to get away from them.

I don’t think he was warm and fuzzy like some people try to portray him. Even when he performed, a miracle there was an element of detachment to it. As if he wasn’t invested in the outcome. He was not fully of this world. To me it seems that Jesus was a teacher that was on a different plane than the rest of us and he would become impatient with our ignorance and refusal to wake up.

I like that phrase – ‘wake up!’ Jesus wanted us to wake up and see that we are one with God, just as he was one with God. “Wake Up!” We are one with God.

In Matthew, Jesus tells us to consider the lilies of the field, see how beautiful they are and they don’t worry about what they wear, neither do the toil, they just are… perfect as they are. The birds neither toil nor do they reap, yet God feeds them and cares for them… just as they are.

We have complicated everything. We have wants and needs that far exceed what we really need. We can’t conceive that we are perfect just as we are and that God will provide for us. We are dis-functionally independent. We have to amass huge quantities of everything in our lives because we fear that in the future we won’t have enough. Well, what would life be like if we were able to rest in faith that all will be provided as we need it? Peace would rule the world. There would be no need for greed, struggle, exploitation, or cruelty. We would live in peace with each other. Everyday the people in the Bible would go out and collect manna for the day. There was always manna, but only if they only took what they needed, if they exceeded their needs, the extra would rot and disappear.

Last night David asked the question why would Jesus not want anyone to tell if he healed them. Several plausible explanations could be true were given and yet they didn’t ring true for me. I thought about it on the train last night as I traveled home and I began to read Matthew, it became clear to me as I read. In Matthew, Jesus tells how to live life (and I believe he was telling us how to make our way towards enlightenment). He says that when we are performing acts of charity we shouldn’t let our left hand know what the right hand is doing. He shouldn’t tell of our good deeds. He should speak our prayers in a closet and not in public. We should wash our faces even in the face of hardship. Because if we don’t do these things then the telling of our deeds is its own reward.

I heard the Dalai Lama speak to this, he said that the act of compassion is its own reward, not because we will have recognition, or we will please God or anything else. An act of compassion just makes us feel good. Plain and simple, when we are compassionate, that compassion is its own reward, it stands alone.

Jesus wanted all of us to hear his message, not because he would become the biggest rock star of all time, or that we would actually measure time starting when he was born, or even start a new religion, but because he wanted us to know how magnificent we are. That we are God’s children, we are one with God, and we are all Christ. He wanted us to “Wake Up!” Plain and simple.

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