John’s Preamble

preambleI’ve decided to dub the first eighteen verses of the Gospel of John the Preamble of John.  They stir up for me a time during grammar school when I had to memorize the Preamble of the Constitution.  I can still remember it, a brief prologue outlining the purpose of the document, each phrase incredibly important and profound.  The Preamble of John is very much like that.

Go ahead and call me complacent.  I have not committed to memory the Preamble of John because it’s just too long.  Meryl Streep I am not.  However, like the introduction to the United States Constitution, these verses lay the groundwork for nearly everything that comes after it.  John the theologian basically gives us what we now know as basic Christian doctrine.

He says:

  • Jesus is God the Creator.
  • Jesus is Light/Life
  • John the Baptist was not the light (God), he reflected the light. He (man) was a witness to the light.
  • The world Jesus created did not recognize him as God.
  • Those who believe Jesus is God have the right to become children of God and receive God’s grace (forgiveness even when it is not deserved).
  • God/Jesus is a Father/Son relationship.

Okay, I think that covers John’s preamble.  What’s the most fundamental question here? The lecturer asked us, “Do you believe in God as creator?”  Leaving the word God out of the question would be considered a sacrilege by my classmates, but I’d like to rephrase it anyway and ask,

“Do you believe creation has a source?”

Let me start by addressing a very big obstacle for people when these kinds of questions come up.  There are many who have trouble with the masculine persona given to God in the Bible and I was one of them.  God (the Word, the Lord, the Almighty, the Creator, the Source, Allah, Jehovah, Collective Consciousness, Life Force Energy, etc. etc. etc.),  is believed by them to be genderless.

Masculine pronouns in the Bible were my pet peeve for a long time.  There are so many other names available to use.  I was, however, able to resolve this inner conflict after incorporating something about the energetic anatomy I learned years ago in a Reiki class.

Jesus addressed God as Father during his sermon on the mount and when he shared The Lord’s Prayer with his followers (here’s a link to my favorite book about The Lord’s Prayer). The population of people Jesus preached to had no frame of reference or vocabulary for the concepts he needed to convey.

Using the word Father to explain who (what) ruled the Kingdom of God was brilliant for two reasons.  First, it was a way to explain God’s love for humanity and Jesus’ love for God.  The loving connection between a father and a son was something his followers could understand.  There was more to it though. Giving God a masculine name validates for me that Jesus was accurately drawing from universal energy principles.

Energy is often expressed as on/off, high/low, positive/negative, light/dark, yin/yang, sun/moon, heaven/earth, right/left, and male/female.  These expressions are used to explain the same concepts within different cultural frameworks.  Energy flows both in to and out of the human body; it is how we receive and send non verbal information. The body sends information from the right side of the body (masculine energy) and receives information on the left (feminine energy).

To address God as Father in The Lord’s Prayer validates Jesus’ understanding that we are asking God to send information from his kingdom (heaven, male energy) to humanity (earth, female energy) so that we can receive it.  The Lord’s Prayer is a list of things we are asking God to give us: faith, an ability to surrender to the will of God, a desire to serve others, abundance, an ability to forgive, an ability to overcome our daily obstacles (sin), love.

Do I believe creation has a source?

Humans are extremely creative.  With the exception of weather, I think it’s a fair statement to say that everything bad in the world is created by troubled people.  What drives them to make bad choices, stress themselves out, wreck havoc with others?

The flip side is that humans have the capacity for magnificent creations of beauty: loving relationships, music, art, literature.  What inspires this creativity?  Where does it come from?

Do I believe in God as creator?  Yes.

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