Whenever we think we already know God we make the fatal mistake of putting God in a box. We have limited IT. To really appreciate the “what-ness” or the “why-ness” or the “who-ness” of God or the “how-ness” of God in everyday life, first we just need to let IT be.
Although their scriptures contain frank pictures of a sometimes brutal God, the Israelites also present another angle. They refer to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Their patriarchs did not search for God, he revealed himself to them. God called Abraham to journey away from his own tribe , promising to make him into a father of many people. God demanded that Isaac be sacrificed and then saved him with a substitute animal. God chose Jacob, a clever and wily manipulator to become the father of Israel.
For them God was not just a force in the universe, but the one to whom they belonged – they were God’s own people. In other words, God was the meaning of their lives – the one that provide the dots to be connected.
From our perspective, 4000 years down the road, they seem to have gotten some things right – that there is a force in the universe that apparently seems friendly to humanity, in spite of our episodes of stupidity, malevolence and maliciousness. What in the human experience was like – a father.
Where their religion eventually went wrong was in thinking they were special – that they alone were special, which is what “true believers” tend to believe. They froze a wonderful insight about life into a permanent idea about themselves. Instead of allowing it to be a guidepost towards greater heights – like the evolution of humanity into truly spiritual beings.
For religions to progress into a useful spirituality, there has to be a jump onto a new platform of thinking to capture new insights – the way Paul evolved from being a strict Pharisee into a more universal spiritual thinker – the way it says in Ephesians that “everything (will be) gathered in the pleroma/fullness of Christ”. That is a breathtaking jump from a small exclusive group in Palestine to a vision of cosmic proportions. it took a huge mind-shift. it took a revelation .
Today we have larger platforms of insight – where spiritual intuition and experience find expression in scientific experience. The shell of protection we have built to protect us, the shield of religion – religion as fixed doctrine of our ideas of God, life and humanity – is being ripped open to reveal the mystery that once was hidden.
This sharp laser tearing the veil in half is the growing awareness that God is not “out there”, under the care of a special elite of priests or a few “anointed ones” who keep divine secrets, but within the very being of every person, is keeping alive every living thing in the universe; and that the entire cosmos is but a hologram/small picture of that creative, loving intelligence at play in the fields of our everyday experience, and at the same time is like a turbine deep within ourselves.
This is where we need a bit of religious imagery to interpret our intuitions – like INCARNATION – where God the father of all has sent Christ (his spirit) in the person of the human person Jesus of Nazareth that we may understand what it is to be truly human – that to be truly human is also to be truly divine.
But we cannot just claim that as our group’s special doctrine – it belongs to all of humanity. God is bigger than any religious organization. If you think otherwise your God is too small.