A recent query from a reader voiced the following concerns about religion and the global longing to connect with God/Life:
[If] Jesus came for the whole world then why was he only known by a relatively small group of people? What…impact did his physical life have on tribal communities or Eastern countries that didn’t even know him.
[His] coming brought in the new covenant but, again, doesn’t that only replace the old covenant for the Jewish people and all the people weighed down by the law/ten commandments.
So was Jesus sent to Earth for everyone or just these direct communities?
All the world would have been trying to connect to God in their own way since man was created. The bible only tells us of the direct line through Abraham, Jewish and then gentiles who believe in Jesus and the bible.
I just think that is quite restrictive for me at the moment and I need to look outside religion and just experience God/Life.
A Universalist Friend has offered some comments in response:
Restriction or freedom is subject to your judgment…
The ideas of Jesus being sent, the replacement of covenants, [and] the scope of the caring community are all important aspects of the Christian tradition and culture, but also of parallel traditions in other cultures, [all] pointing toward that dimension of our universal human reality at the edge of human language.
We are all groping to point out to one another where the bread of life is to be found. This is the role of community in augmenting…individual discernment of truth….
- What do you discern as the role of specific religions in helping us toward global connections with God/Life?
- If biblical faith speaks to you, how does that faith help you to point others to God/Life? What other wellsprings of faith help you to do that?
- In what ways might religion free people to seek connection, rather than restricting them?
Image source: “An afterward to bread-making,” by Alex Legeros in The Gustavian Weekly (11/5/2010)
Legeros writes, in part:
Following a recipe and making that pre-ordained process is one aspect of bread making anyone can be contented with… That’s all well and good, but I think the real benefit I get from bread isn’t in the perfection found in the pre-ordained final product….
For me, bread making is about a bigger issue. Bread making, in so many odd ways, mirrors life…. No matter what recipe you follow, it’s your ingredients, your energy and what you choose to believe…that determines what kind of product you will end up with….
For me, making bread is akin to a religion. I believe in what I believe largely as a mixture between what I was taught and what in my experience I have found to be true….