Sunday Sheep Ponderings- December 25,2016


#sundaysheepponderings
Pondering today  on “SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT”. From what I can tell, humanity, has had a real problem with “stinkin thinkin” since the beginning. “Stinkin Thinkin” is not dirty thoughts but wrong, confused, untruthful thoughts. It seems to me, that starting in the garden, and all the way through to today, we just can’t seem to understand who God is. All religions of the world seem to be the result of a need that we humans have to “make things right”, “settle the score”, “even the playing field”. We’ve created gods that can only offer a vicious cycle of falling short, hating ourselves, needing guilt relief and offering sacrifice to appease. Some gods required a guilt sacrifice, some an animal sacrifice and some even human sacrifice. These gods were distant, controlling and required justice at any price. As I am typing this and pondering on the words, I even see traces of this sacrifice mentality in my beloved Christianity. My heart breaks when I see how my PERFECT, LOVING FATHER has been reduced to look like the other gods humanity has dreamed up and how I have participated in this sacrificial system. He has been portrayed through human writings, human understanding of their circumstances and human traditions as a god who required guilt, demanded justice and accepted all sacrifice…guilt, animal and finally human. 
What I’m about to type…when my eyes were opened to see it for the first time…I screamed “NO”…this messes with all I have ever believed…and yet…at my very core, the center of my being, my “knower”….it all finally made sense and peace flooded my soul, my mind and my heart. 
Perhaps, I was even seeing my Christian God, through a “stinkin thinkin” mindset. Hmmm…I’m guessing we could all do some deeper pondering on that.
And so, we arrive at Christmas! We read the traditional nativity story and we celebrate that our God has finally made a way to be appeased. That he will finally be able to look past our failures and love us. That justice will be served to a scapegoat, this little baby in a manger and He wrath will be satisfied. That the harsh Old Testament God will finally become the nice New Testament God.
Yet, I wonder. Did God send Jesus because HE NEEDED JUSTICE or ….was it because WE did? Could it be that humanity’s “stinkin thinkin” needed to be corrected? Could it be that Jesus was God’s way to SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT? Could it be that WE needed a sacrifice to feel loved and accepted? Could it be that God stooped down to our needs and met them? Could it be that man’s need for sacrifice even contaminated the message of Jesus? Caused his suffering? 
Jesus did set the record straight. He said I have come to give you life, I have come to find and save the lost, I have come to destroy your enemy (your stinkin thinkin)….I AM the Prince of PEACE! I AM the WONDERFUL Counselor! I AM your EVERLASTING FATHER! I AM the one and only mighty GOD of love! I AM like no other god you have formed or created. I AM SET APART, I AM OTHER, I AM …..LOVE. 
So in the words of the angel messengers….FEAR NOT! There is GLORIOUSLY GOOD NEWS for…ALL PEOPLE! The record has been set straight! God is finally revealed as He is truly is and YOU can get rid of that “stinkin thinkin” and KNOW that you are EXTRAVAGANTLY, UNCONDITIONALLY, PERFECTLY LOVED! Merry Christmas my so loved friends! REJOICE! Emmanuel, God is WITH us! 

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