Our God & Ourselves: Traveling “The Way”

You can listen to this week’s Devotional here

Author: Kevin Pettit

“For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2: 19 – 20

As a follower of Jesus, I am (again) troubled by the existence of God. I think that all monotheists understand God as incorporeal but as Christians, we face the theological complexity of claiming the man Jesus of Nazareth was God! Buddhists face a similar situation with Siddhartha Gautama, the first Buddha, though they have confronted the situation more directly and focus not on the divinity of the Buddha, but on the dharma – the cosmic law, order, duty, or custom. In fact, the Sixth Patriarch stated, “Deluded, a Buddha is an individual being; Awakened, an individual being is a Buddha. In our own mind itself a Buddha exists; our own Buddha is the true Buddha. If we do not have ourselves in the Buddha mind, then where are we to seek the Buddha?”

As recorded in the Power of Myth, the mythologist Joseph Campbell stated, “God is a thought, God is an idea, but its reference is to something that transcends all thinking.”  Having considered very seriously many understandings of the notions of God, or the Divine, the understanding that I am most comfortable intellectually embracing has its origins in Process Theology – a modern idea – though I also embrace the Jesus followers before Constantine who did not think of themselves as Christians, but as followers of “The Way”. It is with these understandings that I read the letter of Paul to the followers of The Way in Galatia and believe even that “it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.”

Galatians 2: 19 – 20

Prayer: May the words I’ve written and the thoughts they express encourage others to follow in The Way of the man Jesus of Nazareth

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