Monday, March 28, 2011

Knowing God

This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel
   after that time, declares the Lord.
I will put my laws in their minds
   and write them on their hearts.
I will be their God,
   and they will be my people. 
No longer will they teach their neighbor,
   or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
   from the least of them to the greatest.
For I will forgive their wickedness
   and will remember their sins no more.” – Hebrews 8:10-12

Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 50: Hebrews 8

Knowing God. That’s what it is all about.

I was watching this History Channel special the other day about the lost gospels. It talked about various ancient documents claiming to be Gospels from different perspectives. There’s a Gospel of Thomas, Mary Magdalene, Peter, and even Judas.

In the discussion of these gospels the program went into a brief break down of the ancient Gnostic sect of Christians. To catch you up on the story the Roman emperor Constantine was a pagan until he saw a vision of the cross before an important battle. After winning the battle he supposedly converted to Christianity and made it the official religion of the Roman Empire.

Of course like with every large organization there needed to be some sort of structure to organize the power that was being bestowed upon the church; however, the church at the time was made up of many sects and groups who believed some different things. One of the things that the Gnostics believed was that they could connect with God directly without the need of a clergy of intermediaries. Connection to God could be found within.

Of course this didn’t sit well with the powers that be. The notion that one must connect through church leadership can (though not necessarily) serve the purpose of keeping the believers under a measure of control.  If folks gotta come to you to get to God then you hold an undeniable amount of power right?

Since the Gnostics didn’t believe this type of relationship to God was necessary they posed a threat to the new religious order and therefore many of their texts were labeled heretical. (Yes there were other reasons as well like disagreements as to who Jesus was but that’s for another post.)

I believe the idea that one can directly connect with God.  Scriptures like the one above have always encouraged me in that regard. God wants us to know Him intimately; He wants his laws stamped into our minds and our hearts.

As we know, the law can be summed up as to love God and to love our neighbors as ourselves. I believe that is true spiritual maturity. Sure, one may start out by looking at the Bible as some kind of rule book to govern their lives; but we must grow beyond legalism. The goal is to transform into our best possible selves; a new person who is governed by love.

No longer will they teach their neighbor,
   or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
   from the least of them to the greatest.

No one has a monopoly on Jesus. He is available for all of us to know, from the least to the greatest. 

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A Convo With God by Clarence Mitchell III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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