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Showing posts from August, 2012

Thomas the Mystic

I am convinced that the Gospel of Thomas is a mystic text.  It's main challenge is to know yourself in a living experiential way, a rhema kind of knowledge as a son or daughter of God.  We are called to awaken where we come from thus realizing where we are going.  In my humble opinion the GoT is Chistianity without the hard to believe things like the virgin birth, the sacrificial view of Jesus death to appease God, and an us vs them mentality.  It is an oneness text.

Inner Life

Following Jesus

I found a quote today that I really love:
“Jesus did not say that the whole world should go to church.  Essentially He said that the church should go to the whole world.” ~ Greg Laurie

This quote goes great with the one attributed to St. Francis of Assisi:  "Preach always, if necessary use words."

I am still reaping the fruits from the 30 days of letting go, of letting go of any clinging to a religion and just focus on a relationship with God.  What happened was a shakedown that sifted like flour all that was fluff and then what remained was of substance.  I let go of old of fundamentalist wounds and worries that I still held and from that I am now able to approach the Gospel of Thomas and Jesus without that worry.  I am seeing Jesus in a healthy way, and from that even the church in a more healthy way.

I do not believe that Jesus ever intended to form a church like we see today.  Rather if anything the small home communities were probably much more true and fruitful.  Money g…

So, What's the Big Deal?

The Gospel of Thomas talks about the Kingdom of God...a lot.  In fact in saying 3, Jesus tells his disciples that the kingdom is within them and outside them.  But what is the kingdom anyway?  What would this have meant to his followers?  I don't think this saying is supposed to be just a feel good thing you can just nod and say yes..I am filled with God, and stop there.

The Jews of the 1st Century knew of several kingdoms. The kingdom of the Romans was seen as the kingdom of oppression, suppression and injustice.  In fact many emperors and kings throughout history have displayed these same tendencies. But there was also a hope and view of the messianic kingdom.  This kingdom is a kingdom of justice, of goodness, help for the widows and orphans, of peace.

I love what Richard P. McBrien says about the kingdom in his article, "What is the Kingdom of God?" (http://www.americancatholic.org/Newsletters/CU/ac0980.asp)

We can define the Kingdom of God as the redemptive presence…

Is the Gospel of Thomas Gnostic? Christian?

Many scholars suggest that the Gospel of Thomas is not Gnostic. It contains no mythos of the demiurge, the fall of Sophia, and sees God within creation. Many of the scholars make the case that the Thomasines were a Christian community, one of the many diverse Christian communities (though some today might attach a label of mystical to them, but honestly could not any of the Christian groups fit that bill?)  Their text fitting in with much though not all of "mainstream" Christianity. The Thomasines were Christians.  However there are kernels or seeds of things in the Gospel of Thomas later adopted by those groups commonly called Gnostics.  It's concepts were later built on with much else in other Gnostic groups, so the GoT did influence Gnosticism without being Gnostic itself. Today, perhaps as in its earliest ages, The Gospel of Thomas has a foot in two worlds, that of Christianity and that of Gnosticism, yet not fitting completely within either.  It is Christian but not…

How Did Jesus Meditate?

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Messages from My Dad

Last night, I had a dream for my dad who passed this summer.  He had a message for me concerning my mom.  The message made perfect sense.  He also shared something personal.  This is the 3rd time he has come to me, not just in an odd passing dream, but with a message.  He also visited the nurse who was taking care of him to thank her and the staff..this was the night before he died that morning.

This happening is strange and yet has happened with both grandmas and an aunt going back several years.  Each time the messages seemed to hit on the head.  The first one I remember was with my grandma, who came to me and gave me a message for my mom and her brothers and sisters.  It was about the guilt they were feeling for not being there.  I was just a goofy teenager and had no clue that they were feeling guilty.  As it turns out, none had been there to visit her in the nursing home that week, and the nursing home failed to let the family know that she was going into the hospital for surgery…

Spirituality Is Where it is At

"Jesus said, 'The person old in days won't hesitate to ask a little child seven days old about the place of life, and that person will live.  For many of the first will be last, and will become a single one.'" -Gospel of Thomas 4

This is such an interesting saying.  An old man...a man who is an elder.. who has his place in Jewish society as an elder, a wise one will ask an infant, but not just any infant...but one who is uncircumcised (Jews circumcise on the 8th day), one who is not part of the covenant about the place of life... the seventh day could also refer to the Sabbath, dating back to the first Sabbath, the day of rest, the day God rested in the creation story.

So we have an elder, established in the covenant and tradition asking one who is not established in it for the place of life.  It seems in the Gospel of Thomas, the Wisdom Jesus does not teach a religion...Jewish nor any fledgling Christianity that we know of today.  Instead he seems to point to a l…