BOTTLED

  • The best is yet to come ... we look ahead and remember that faith is always pointed toward the future. Jeffery R Holland Jan 2010

Sunday, January 16, 2011

LOOKING BEYOND

Sin,
evil,
punishment,
damnation,
hell,
judgement -
is that a summary of your religion?
your Sundays?

I surely hope not!

Those don't sound too desirable to me.

I get downright cranky when I hear messages that impute such things as the core of religion and religious beliefs.

To me the real core is hope,
along with peace, kindness and happiness.

Are these real? - I want to know more about that very thing - that is why I choose to study the Bible and other sacred texts, for at least a few minutes, almost every day.  I believe they are as real and perhaps more so that that first scary list! And I choose to think on them and learn about them first - even if I have to have a bit of the other to help me understand - I am reaching for these - the good and the wonderful - the better and the best!

At Sunday School this year our class is studying the New Testament.  We started the New Year with the central and wondrous message of all Christianity - the gospel - the good news angels sang so long ago ...

JESUS CHRIST is born!

Why is that such a big deal?
I will study that every Sunday this year -
and hopefully find some answers to the question.

So what is the new testament?
Not the book itself but the testimony it contains that earned it the name of being new and if it is new what is the old?

I hope to learn more about that very thing.

I learned many, many things as I studied the Old Testament last year.  Of course the main thing I learned was that the testimony there [in that part of the Bible] is indeed old and indeed a testimony - of what? of Jesus Christ, of course - that he, a literal son of God in the flesh, will live among people as ordinary as you and I here in the very place we live - on earth.

I also pondered again Isaiah's message (it is one of my favorite things to read). Isaiah exulted in that testimony! The reality that Jesus Christ, a literal son of God, would be born - and die! Exulted? Absolutely - exulted in and testified of the most joyful and incredibly wonderful and happy news ever to be known! You may have to read it to get it! You may have to read it more than once - just remember all he ever really says is that one thing  - or some version of it and why it is a big deal.

Each week, this year, I will (hopefully) peruse a study guide and not only read but also study the New Testament (King James Version)  itself and learn more about what the testament there, in that book, is.

I have read it before.  I will read it again. And again.

Hope,
Peace,
Kindness
Happiness -
that is a summary of my religion,
and usually my Sundays.