Last night I saw a movie called “Eat, Pray, Love” starring Julia Roberts. Good movie. A slight spoiler is to follow so; if you find that annoying, stop reading now.
Our heroine finds herself at a point in life where, assessing her circumstances and finding herself wanting; embarks on a year long adventure/sabbatical. One segment of her year takes her to India where she spends time in a Hindu ‘place’ where she learns meditation and discovers an aspect of the healing and knowledge of God that she desired.
OK…… Hindu, I know, but, as this segment of the movie concludes, she reveals her discovery to the audience as she self-narrates her experience and states it something to this effect “I discovered God lives in me and as me”
Wait a minute! I thought that was ‘our story’!
With Hollywood behind the message and Julia Roberts delivering it, I can just see the world flipping over this great ‘cool’ concept and I can foresee a birth of interest in things Hindu, but come on now, we ‘had that message’ centuries ago!
Problem is; we just don’t hear it as much anymore.
Jesus said in John chapter 14;
"If you love me, show it by doing what I've told you. I will talk to the Father, and he'll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you. This Friend is the Spirit of Truth. The godless world can't take him in because it doesn't have eyes to see him, doesn't know what to look for. But you know him already because he has been staying with you, and will even be in you!
"I will not leave you orphaned. I'm coming back. In just a little while the world will no longer see me, but you're going to see me because I am alive and you're about to come alive. At that moment you will know absolutely that I'm in my Father, and you're in me, and I'm in you.
We "do" because He lives in and through us.
Paul in Galatians 2 tries to explain it like this; "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me."
I love how The Message paraphrase puts it;
"What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn't work. So I quit being a "law man" so that I could be God's man. Christ's life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not "mine," but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that."
‘We’ seem to spend an inordinate amount of time exercising our conclusions regarding God’s corporate agenda for society at the expense of the message of Devine personal revelation, growth, and relationship.
Now I know there is probably a ton of Hindu philosophy behind that statement in the movie. [Honestly I’m not sure Hindu is what I should be calling it. Maybe one of you will straighten me out].
I’m certainly not advocating your exploration of the Hindu beliefs (although I am sure Jesus isn’t threatened if you do). I’d rather you find the Light I have found, live in it, then tell me what you see and hear.
I am wondering how the world got such a distaste of our faith and how the offer of Jesus got so lost.
It saddens me that we neglect what is in my opinion, the most wonderful (and fundamental) gift Jesus offers; to have our relationship with God restored.
Julia Roberts (in character) re-discovers the joy of living and relationships. Do we offer that? Jesus said to a woman “if you knew who it was you were talking to, you would ask for something different, something more important, something you really want’ (my translation). Julia’s character wants to talk with God, wants revelation, and wants healing and freedom from what ails her. She wants to be free to live!
Again! That’s supposed to be our message, the message Jesus began his revelation to us with.
Healing. Freedom. Life. Knowing God.
That is the offer. That is the Christianity I have found.