Sunday 2-16-14 – The Bridge

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.” ~ Jesus Christ

Happy Sunday!

For a while now I have had difficulty with the prayer that Joel Osteen gives at the end of his Sunday sermons. The prayer makes me uncomfortable as it puts importance on sin and, I felt, emphasized Jesus as God where I have been thinking of him a brother for a while now.  I was raised to know Jesus as God, a part of the Holy Trinity, but I still continually seek better understanding of this.
Joel’s prayer goes as follows:
Lord Jesus, I repent of my sins.  Come into my heart.  I make you my Lord and savior.
So today I am going to look at why this prayer bothers me and reflect on my relationship with Jesus.
First I have problem with the statement “I repent of my sins”.  From my up bringing this has so many associations with social norms that we all are sinners, we are born sinners, we are less than God expects us to be. Losers!
So much of what I have learned about Faith and spirituality tells me of a Universal God, who is not above us standing in judgement of us, but a force of light and Love that supports our evolving into our highest selves.  As children of Love, our mistakes are just mistakes that, if we let go of the thoughts of conforming to social criticism and expectations, we can choose to learn from.  Iyanla Vanzant gave the best definition of sin that has stuck with me; she called it ‘self inflicted nonsense’!
The word repent was also bothering me so I looked up the meaning on the internet.  The first definition I found was from Webster’ and said “feel or express sincere regret or remorse about one’s wrongdoing or sin.”  This states why the word bothers me because it implies regret and regret is about living in the past.  When we feel regret we are not living in gratitude for the present and we are sending our blessed energy of today to events of the past.  Forgiveness is the blessing of letting the past go and not living with regret thereby, there is no need to repent.
In my research on the meaning of repent I found another website ( that said the true biblical meaning of repent was ‘to change one’s mind”.  Well I don’t know this site well enough to know if they use biblical scholars to analyze the translation but I like this meaning better.
So now Joel’s statement means for me, “Lord Jesus, I have changed my mind about inflicting nonsense on myself.”  This is what my lessons of my last two years have been teaching me.  I am the beloved child of God and not the unworthy, regretful, sinner.
My relationship with Jesus made a shift this week.  I have just finished reading the final part of ACIM and near to the last chapter of the Manual for Teachers was a section entitled “Does Jesus have a special place in healing?”  In the last couple of years, as my view of God became more about Universal consciousness, my view of Jesus has become more personal, viewing him as my brother.  I see Jesus as human who, like Buddha and many mystics and Gurus, became enlightened and was able to connect into Christ consciousness.
The ACIM lesson expanded my perspective on my relationship.  It spoke about how Jesus ‘made it’.  He reached unity with the Oneness of God.  Perhaps that is the same idea as reaching Christ/cosmic consciousness that the Hindu’s speak of but ACIM extended the lesson for me. It said that Jesus gave us the tool to evoke his name to aid in healing as he is a teacher for teachers and a supportive connection to use when we struggle and are unable to disconnect from this material world.  I pictured in my mind Jesus near to me on earth and his light beam extending through heaven to the light of Oneness. We may struggle to advance in the flow of the Light but Jesus is the strong, unending connection. This image helped me to understand Jesus as a human soul and Jesus as God.
Jesus joined the Oneness.  In this way Jesus became God, the Oneness of Universal Love.  So Jesus is human; Jesus is teacher; Jesus is brother; Jesus is God; Jesus is Love.
One other comfort I got from these ideas is as I think of Jesus as brother.  He is like the elder sibling who goes before, succeeds, and instils in the younger siblings the courage that they too can succeed.  Perhaps this is the way that Jesus is savior.
The word savior has bothered me for a long time as I couldn’t understand how he saved me.  I remember being told as a child several different things that were to have happened to support his being called savior.  I recall being told that he opened the gates of heaven on Good Friday so that souls roamed the earth prior to his death; I didn’t accept that.  I was told he forgave all of our sins so I couldn’t understand why we had 2000 years of Churches calling us sinners.  And as for being a personal savior of a person’s soul, it seems to me that people need to make the choice to accept him into their lives. If you do that than yes I know that you can be saved by having Love in your heart that turns your focus away from the struggles of this life.
I found on the internet ‘savior’ having the synonyms of helper and benefactor.  Yes, he is those things – we just need to ask and be willing to receive.
So now that I have spent this time to contemplate and understand more of where I am at I would finish Joel’s prayer:
Jesus, I choose you as my guide and bridge to Oneness with God.
“Many are the names of God, and infinite the forms that lead us to know Him. In whatsoever name or form you desire to call Him, in that very form and name you will see Him.” ~ Ramakrishna

2 thoughts on “Sunday 2-16-14 – The Bridge

  1. Hi Tricia,
    I also had a hard time with Joel’s prayer years ago, until I learned that the early translation of the word sin meant, “I missed the mark,” a mistake, so to speak. I can’t even imagine how many words or Bible versus were changed to manipulate the masses in to a certain way of believing or controlling.

  2. Pingback: Abundant UniverseTricia Today!

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