John 10:34 "Jesus answered them, is it not written in your Law, 'I have said you are gods?' If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came -- and Scripture cannot be set aside -- what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world?"
John 17:21 "I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one -- as you are in me, Father, and I am in you."
Jesus was very clear about the unity between people and the divine. During a debate described in John's letter he even referred to scripture that called people gods to illustrate why his detractors shouldn't be surprised when he referred to himself as a "Son of God." And, this isn't the only place in the Bible Jesus reminds us of his and our unity with God.
Our modern culture doesn't lend itself well to the concept of unity. We've been programmed to think we are separate from each other and God is separate from us. We even ridicule the concept of reconciliation and unity with jokes. Have you heard the one about the Buddhist monk ordering a pizza? He told the waiter, "Make me One with everything." Get it?
I actually like that joke, but it does point to a serious fallacy in the way most of us think when we consider the concept of "oneness" or unity with each other and God as something unusual or even weird.
We are whole and unified when we are born. Ask any new mother; a baby recognizes no difference between itself and Mom. But, literally within months we teach those babies letters and numbers and other symbols to define, divide, and separate objects in their mind, so they will fit in with everyone else.
Though required to survive in a modern society, that ability to parse and separate also programs us to believe we are separate from things from which we are not separate - namely each other and God.
After a dozen or so years of this inadvertent programming of separation, it seems we then attempt to steer our teenagers toward a reunification and reconciliation process to try to "save" them and "bring them back" to God. Whether we call it bar mitzvah or pastor's class, it is an attempt to reconcile our children back to a place they never left, other than in the concepts planted in their minds.
Deep down we know our kids never went anywhere and neither did God. As a society we simply spend most of our time teaching our kids to be safe from danger, how to work hard and make a living, and not enough time reminding them of their unity with other people and God.
We should spend more time teaching children what Jesus taught his friends and followers -- there is no separation between God and us. We should teach our kids from a very young age, that we follow a tradition of Jesus that instills the confidence this good news brings; that we are nothing less than individuations of the divine -- Children of God. And, we should rejoice in that fact each and every day.
God, please remind me you are in me and I am in you just as Jesus prayed it would be on that fateful night in the garden. Please remind kids they are never separate or alone, that we're all variations of each other and of you. Help our minds reconcile these thoughts and please let our hearts reconcile our Self to you. Amen.
Posted on Sat, March 18, 2017
by Micah James