It is interesting to
note that none of the Old Testament writers referred to God as "Father." This means that there was no concept of
this until Jesus came along and referred to God as "Abba Father." Jesus came to introduce us to a bigger
concept of the God - of God as "divine parent."
It is difficult to see
the "Father" in religion because religion is driven mostly by fear. Although fear is the beginning of
wisdom, it is only that . . . the beginning. We will never enter the Kingdom of God until we progress
from fear to love. The fear of God
must graduate into understanding; understanding to reverence; and reverence to
awe. Religion and the Kingdom of
God are two different houses. We
have known for many, many years how to act in the house of religion. But we must now begin to behave as true
sons and daughters if we are to live in the house of God's Kingdom.
Religion proclaims a
torturing God rather than a teaching God; a punitive God rather than a
protective God; a prosecuting God rather than a parenting God. This is what we
have been taught and what some of us, in turn, have taught others. But there is a progression in God.
The law and the prophets
led us to John the Baptist. John
the Baptist led us to Jesus. I will never be ashamed of Jesus because, as a
Christian, He is my connection to God.
But I cannot say that others, who do not connect through Him, have no
connection at all to God. God is in everything. Even Paul said Christ is all
and in all.
Just as John the Baptist
said, "I must decrease so that He might increase," speaking of Jesus; Jesus
said of the Holy Spirit, "I must go away, so that He might come. Jesus came to
lead us to a greater truth and a higher consciousness than religion. He came to lead us to Spirit. And of
Spirit, He says this, "And when He comes He will guide you into ALL truth" -
notice Jesus did not say into "Christian" truth but ALL truth. Let us always endeavor to embrace not
religion, but Spirit.
Quote of the Week
"Since God is just, I
believe there is a hell; since God is merciful, I believe there is no one in
Bishop Fulton J. Sheen