Have Mercy

It took me years to forgive myself for much more than you will ever know about. I was unable to do that until I became convinced of our Father’s unconditional love for us, no matter what. At first I thought it too scandalous to be like the Prodigal’s father. I was too much like the Prodigal’s brother whose justice demanded payment for his brother’s wastefulness. But our Father’s justice was taught by the historical Jesus in Matt. 5:38-48. “Blasphemy!” said the priests. “He must die for challenging the standard of justice in our Torah!”

And when he taught that our Father lived among us and in us, accepting us as we are, (the Father’s kingdom of here-and-now), well, that did it for me. That’s when I was able to forgive myself for a shameful past. Why? Because my Father forgives my past and accepts me as I am. And from then on, when faced with choices, I try to remember to ask myself, “Is this what Abba would do?” If I remember to ask myself that, then the choice is clear. If I do not remember to ask myself that, then I could still make the wrong choice and end up hurting myself or someone else. But I always know that Abba’s arms are open to me, no matter what. So I can start over.

That concept of our Father’s presence among and in us challenged the Jewish Temple religion and rituals. It challenged the priesthood itself! And that is when they brought suit against him before the Roman court claiming that he was the ringleader of another rebellion.

Jesus was falsely accused and murdered for what he taught. And even then, he asked our Father to forgive them because they did not know what they were doing. The message that Jesus taught and died for was caring for, compassion for, acceptance of, forgiveness to, and love for others – no matter what. It’s what Abba would do, and it’s what Abba had always done from the beginning. Love does not generate fear. Love requires no payment for wrong-doing. Abba would not even THINK of sending his enemies to a hellish punishment. Such nonsense only came from the minds of those who required retaliation – priests and writers who did not know what they were doing or writing.

I could go on here about how and why Paul completely twisted and reversed the historical Jesus’ message with his production of a bloody “Christ” salvation idea that the NT “gospel” writers bought into and used to generate their narratives two to four decades later. Another time, perhaps.

For now, just think of Abba’s love and compassion for you as his dear child. What you and I have done or believed in our past is not an issue for Abba. He has long ago thrown our errors into the far horizons of space and accepts us like those mistakes never even happened. Just part of our learning. No blame. No guilt. No punishment. No payment required. Only gratitude for his open arms and for being his beloved child – then sharing such a love with others.

Jesus’ message puts a smile on our face and relief in our heart.

Indeed! Father, have mercy! We still have so much to learn.

http://us5.campaign-archive1.com/?u=45b75085e6ab57e339ea89d67&id=2140e1a771&e=8d19b8d7c2

Had to get my response of last night out of my system before reading the Rule of Life attachment. Glad I did. She has it! Margaret has found and seen the Light under the religious bushel. She is commenting on the historical Jesus, not the “Christ” of Paul. Total opposites. And yes, Paul did get a couple things. One, that there is no difference between Torah, Logos, and religion – any kind. All three cover up the mercy of our Father with their “laws.” The other worthy piece in one of Paul’s letters is his going on while describing love.

But then, of all things, Paul does a turn-about and proceeds to build his vision of a new religion – one that included all the same points of Eastern Zoroastrianism. (Fall, loss of paradise, promised savior, atonement, resurrection, return in judgement, and hellish punishment for unbelief) Muhammed used exactly the same line for his Koran. Both buried Jesus’ comforting message of the Presence of a caring, compassionate, loving Father-God always among us and in us. Some OT pre-captivity Prophets got it as well, but the religious priests had them stoned, etc. for blasphemy according to their “holy law.” Even Abraham had grown up in the tradition of Eastern religion and was ready to practice it on Isaac. The Jewish scribes and priests rewrote their Hebrew history while in Babylon, all in line with Eastern religion, and always involving their myth of judgmental-punishing “god” who must retaliate.

In fairness to Paul, he was, after all, a brilliant scholar of the Torah which had come home rewritten from Persia. And he saw an opportunity to use Greek and Roman mythology to formulate a new similar mythology for the Gentiles. Same line. Different characters. (Jesus’ brother, James, and Peter who had actually heard Jesus’ comforting message, vehemently refused to accept Paul’s new religion. After meeting with them, Paul even uses sarcasm to belittle them as uneducated “super-apostles.”) One to two generations later, well after Paul’s influence among the Gentiles and after Jerusalem was destroyed (70CE), the writers of the “gospels” took pseudo names and each added their twists to the accounts of the Galilean that were still being passed about orally.

I do not have time here to show how opposing theologians gathered copies of circulating manuscripts over the next three centuries and finally formulated their confessions and rituals and “laws” for the new Christian religion. Enter Constantine and his “sword” used on unbelievers, especially Jews. The church became a powerful arm of European, Middle Eastern, and North African governments that followed. Or was it the reverse? Another three centuries later, roughly 600-700CE, Muhammad, like Paul, began having his visions among the Arabs who claimed being children of Ishmael.

I know, all this challenges everything we were taught and held dear. But I know for certain that Love does not generate fear. Therefore, with the historical Galilean, I challenge the value of religion – any form of it. And no one can formulate a religion around sharing our Father’s presence and love for each of us. Other than that, all we can do is learn how religion actually hides this authentic good news with a pseudo “good news” of their own – plus endless laws and rituals and confessions and threats to keep folks from questioning an ancient tyranny.

And yes, I suppose there may be gatherings with leaders whose purpose is to reassure each other with the authentic love that our Father has for us, gatherings that find ways to help those in need and surprise with goodness those who would do them harm. May there be many such gatherings that do NOT organize but only have a caring, compassionate, loving mission.

Be free!

HH ~ February 2014

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Published in: on February 21, 2014 at 5:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

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