I know a lot about Jesus. More than a lot of people. He’s been a lifelong obsession. (Lord help me Jesus, I can’t quit you.)
What’s a neurotic to do?
I know what I’m doing. I’m teaching a class.
(Jesus Before Christianity at Shepherd University Lifelong Learning.)
It took me a while to realize I could package my neurosis for the benefit of others. I mean, why be selfish with your obsessions?
I’ve been looking for Jesus most of my life. Much to my surprise, the closer I got, the less there was. Like a mirage. Still, a mirage can get you to a place you might otherwise miss—if you keep trudging.
My evangelical friends told me that knowing about Jesus wasn’t good enough.
That won’t save you, Randy. You got Jesus in your head. You need Jesus in your heart. Do you walk and talk with him? Is he your friend?
Actually, no. I don’t have any invisible friends. I used to. When I was five.
I tried to conjure up Jesus so I could walk and talk with him (on the mainline, in the garden, on my pillow). It didn’t work. It felt childish.
(Childlike faith is one thing. Childish is another.)
As it turns out, I couldn’t bring myself to believe in Jesus in that way. But I kept trudging.
And then one day, out of the blue, a Jewish friend told me: I don’t believe in Jesus. I believe with him. I believe in the power of love.
Those Jews! Why didn’t I think of that long ago?!
I guess it helps to have a 2,000-year head start.
See Paula’s photograph on the home page. Wandering in Her Footprints
Outstanding! Would love to take your course. (But, alas, I live in Colorado). Edgell
Now I really do have questions about the Jewish Jesus. Will wait for our class though.
I have never understood the “walking and talking to Jesus” thing. I always thought he rose, and left us with the Holy Spirit to guide us.
Your Jewish friend really gives me nourishment. And as I say to my evangelical friends, I belong to the church of brotherly love. Everyone’s welcome.
The secret of Judaism is skepticism. Once a thing—such as the wisdom of loving—gets past your skepticism, it’s in there solid. It has been, so to speak, properly vetted.
I read recently that the Enlightenment basically encouraged skepticism. And that skepticism promotes humility. (Or should). And therein is wisdom.
A quote I remember (from someone whose name I don’t): I am a practicing Christian, I am not a believing Christian.
Interesting. I think I can believe in Him, with Him, in the power of Love.
I’m still waiting for “Jessica.”
Reminds me of a quote I read recently by Eduardo Galeano:
Utopia lies at the horizon.
When I draw nearer by two steps,
it retreats two steps.
If I proceed ten steps forward,
it swiftly slips ten steps ahead.
No matter how far I go,
I can never reach it. What, then,
is the purpose of utopia?
It is to cause us to advance.”