Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Faith of our fathers

The faith of my childhood left me feeling that God, Christ, and Spirit were very distant (and not necessarily distinct) entities, and that faith was a difficult path, only accessible for those who were particularly skilled, equipped, and trained; an impossible journey into a very black and white world, where one misstep could send you hurtling to eternal death.

I became aware, over time, that there was in fact a loving presence in the world, much closer than the fearsome angry God of my childhood. But that awareness -- and I think there are many of us who find this to be true -- was hard to reconcile with what I knew of church and Christianity. If I were to follow my instincts toward worship and prayer, I wanted to worship and pray to that loving presence, not the powerful distant being worshipped in so many congregations.

That, I think, was the gift of the Gospel of Thomas, and why it's still so important to me: here, in these words, I found a transformed image of Christ, a Christ I could believe in; a Christ for whom -- and through whom -- that loving Presence was very much here, and now...

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