Dispatch One Hundred Three

Posted: October 16, 2014 in Twenty-Sixth Bundle
Tags: , , , ,

MATTHEW 7:21-29

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?’ 23 Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.’

24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. 25 The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great was its fall!”

28 Now when Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astounded at his teaching, 29 for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.

If you were to poll a large number of true believers in the world today and ask them what, really, is the point of their religion, they will no doubt answer with a variety of responses. Freedom from guilt, membership in a community, positive values, an enlarged sense of belonging, weekly inspiration, and everlasting security would certainly make the list. Answers to metaphysical questions, participation in sacred rituals, and the cultivation of religious disciplines (prayer, meditation, fasting, study) would probably be somewhere, though not as high as the first set.

Many put their religion on for show, quoting Bible verses, spouting prophecies, calling out the Antichrist, and performing “miracles” before spellbound crowds. For them, religion is a public performance. Popular “evangeltainers” lead personality cults for their own attention, glory, and luxury. A large segment of society is happy to watch (and donate) as they manage the stage and promote their empires.

What about Jesus? How would he have answered the question about the real point of his religion? Going to church? Feeling relieved of guilt? Having a platform from which he could accuse others and grab glory for himself? Getting his soul safely to heaven in the next life? Actually, none of these. For Jesus, religion wasn’t about what the ego needs or believes it deserves. Instead religion is about action – doing the will of God.

But what is that, the will of God? It is about making a difference for others: lifting up the poor, reaching out to the sick, encouraging those who have lost hope, emancipating the human spirit, and speaking up for those The System doesn’t count or care about. Go to church if you want. Ponder and debate the doctrines of orthodoxy if that’s your thing. At the end of the day, the real question is how authentic, fearless, and far-reaching your love is. True love changes things.

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