Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Religion is to be Connected: Part 3

The Gospels are not the same.  Even the ones that look so much alike and are thus called the "synoptics" have interesting differences. Matthew's gospel begins full of dreams and visions directing Jesus' adoptive father Joseph where to go and when to move. Luke's gospel begins the story through Mary's experiences. Both get us to a humble birth acknowledged by stars and celestial choirs.

 Mark seems to be the earthiest and is for sure the one without birth narrative but just take a look at how Jesus displays his power and you have nearly as much of an reality of cosmic proportions as found in the others' beginnings.

The fourth out does the other 3 gospels without question. The prologue, John 1:1-18 is as cosmic and grand and expansive as any calmed storm or multiplication of food, any angel choir or guiding star.

1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. 4 What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.

That scale, that dimensionality is maintained throughout John's gospel.  Jesus is always as big as the Word such that John can consistently portray the relationship Jesus has with God as no less than Father and Son, as the two being One.

Together with Mark's outlining, Matthew and Luke show us a Jesus becoming as "big" as God, big enough to sit at His right hand in heaven.  So that there is a determination and authority that grows as the team approaches Jerusalem.

In the fourth gospel that proximity and measure has been seen-to before any starlit birth, or prodigious temple lingering or descent into the Jordan to be baptized by John; before any miracle or argument or prayer.

The connection that Jesus has when he takes, breaks and blesses the bread in the upper room, when he prays from Gethsemene, whenever we hear him talk about being "the way, the truth, and the life," is always the same size and always in oneness with God.

According to John, only Jesus as the Word dwelling among us is connected like Jesus is connected.  Using the perspective of the fourth gospel you could say that only He practices true "religion."

Here's the Easter message from the point of that oneness.  Even in the fourth gospel Jesus hangs on a cross and dies.  In other words, the connection he shares with us as "the human one" is just as real. So what God raises is not just God's self or Son, it is all humanity, all creation, all light, all dwelling, all connections.

Easter is not just the good news that God raised Jesus from the dead, it is the perfection of our religion, our connection with God.  When God raised Jesus we all became connected in a way like no other.

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