Saturday, May 3, 2008

Brian’s Reflection: Saturday, May 3, 2008

Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be
happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself
by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames
of achievement.

- Golda Meir, 4th Prime Minister of Israel, born on this day,
in Russia, 1898

I have often wondered about the idea in Christian thought which says that Jesus was created in every way as we are ….. yet without sin. By which most people understand, “perfect”. I understand it from a mythological perspective. God, by definition, has to be perfect, and therefore God’s Son has to be perfect. Which translates into, “without sin”, i.e., perfect in love. So now Christians are set up for failure. We are supposed to be as Christ, Jesus is our ultimate role model. But we can never be “without sin”. Well, in my mind, “perfect” and “sinless” aren’t synonymous.

I think that the Gospel “record” was carefully tidied up to make the earthly reality fit the myth. Like Golda. The reality was a feisty, tough, plain-speaking, hard-dealing politician. But most of us remember the myth: a dowdy plump smiling Jewish grandmother. I wonder what Jesus was really like. I like having the “throwing the moneychangers out of the Temple with a whip” bit. It’s a sign of the hidden truth.

If I am to “create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life”, I don’t want to strive for a false perfection. I want to strive for a “perfection” that includes making mistakes and repenting of them. Yahweh is portrayed as doing that, and I suspect that Jesus did too. Repentance – turning away from unlove to love – is a “tiny, inner spark” that can be fanned into “flames of achievement”.

Trust yourself. We aren’t sinless. Yet the divine and the human live together at the Heart, waiting to burst into flame.


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