The Bible and the Bhagavad Gita 53: Being and Non-being

Lorenz attractor by Wikimol. From Wikimedia Commons (click for source)

I will tell you the wisdom that leads to immortality: the beginningless Brahman, which can be called neither being nor non-being. It dwells in all, in every hand and foot and head, in every mouth and eye and ear in the universe. …It is both near and far, within and without every creature. It moves and is unmoving (BG, 13:12-13, 15)

I’ve mentioned Paul Tillich a few times in this series, and here in the first sentence the resonance is most powerful: Brahman, Krishna says, can be called neither being nor non-being. Tillich referred to God as the “Ground of Being,” or “Being Itself.” We often refer to God as “the Supreme Being,” but that implies God is one sort of thing among other things, just bigger or more perfect. But if God is the author of existence itself, then God is not just the biggest and best, one being among other beings. God is All.

This “Ground of Being,” Tillich said, also contains non-being. The very possibility of things to exist requires their non-existence. There is a point where they stop. This is not the case with God. So being and non-being are contained with the Ground of Being.

So we mortal creatures exist somewhere between being and non-being. We have a temporary existence. We experience finitude and have boundaries. We die. Tillich said that this experience of finitude causes us anxiety, and we often try to escape, either by puffing ourselves up with pride to delude ourselves we are more important than we are, or by indulging ourselves in hedonism and forgetting our mortality.

To face our finitude and connect to the Ground of Being, Tillich said, requires an act of courage. This is the title of his book, The Courage to Be.  

I believe Krishna is getting at a similar philosophy here. Brahman can be called neither being nor non-being. It pervades all beings, lending us some existence so we can live for a while and experience love, so that we can come to knowledge and bliss in unity with our Self and with the Ground of Being.

While I appreciate Paul Tillich’s theology, I recognize it’s pretty deep for the average church-goer. We are not usually taught Christian existentialism in church. But I believe we’d have a deeper appreciation for all life if we did embrace the paradoxes of our theology, if we spent some time wrestling with the question of Being. I think part of the reason we avoid the heavy questions in church is not because they are difficult, but because they are scary. Most of us would rather not talk about the terror of our own finitude or anxiety about our own mortality.

But if we do not, I do not think we can enjoy the bliss of unity with God, either. The paradoxes create tension, and there is no creation at all without tension.

Prayer:
God of being and non-being, create beauty in the paradoxes of my life.  

The Bible and the Bhagavad Gita 52: The Knower and the Field

Depiction of the concept of soul (Ātman) in Jainism, by Vijay K. Jain, 2012. From Wikimedia Commons.

The body is called a field, Arjuna; the one who knows it is called the Knower of the field. This is the knowledge of those who know. I am the Knower of the field in everyone, Arjuna. (BG, 13:1-2)

If you start practicing meditation with a guide, they will usually say something like this: “Let’s begin by drawing your awareness to your body. Feel where your feet make contact with the floor. Feel the position of your spine. Is there tension anywhere? Feel the way the cool air enters your nostrils and fills your chest.” We go on paying attention to the body and its senses because it slows us down and draws us into mindful awareness.

Mindful awareness lets us begin to understand the relationship between our emotions and our body. I carry anger high in my chest and in my neck. I carry my grief in my face and shoulders. I carry my tension by pressing my tongue into the roof of my mouth. When I pay attention to these places in my body where I feel my emotions, I can relax them. I can take a step outside my thoughts and feelings, which are very much rooted in my physical body, and become aware of my Self as something other.

Most of us walk around thinking that the chaos of our thoughts and our feelings is “I,” my self, when it is really just part of a story we are telling ourselves. This is a false self, and it is often frustrated because it only exists to meet short-term goals: to find pleasure and avoid pain, to meet my needs and keep me alive. But there is a deeper, truer Self, who recognizes that my body is part of the universe, my needs are temporary, and that my true Self does not end at the periphery of my skin.

Krishna says this conscious awareness is God: “I am the Knower of the field in everyone.” This used to sound like heresy to my Christian way of thinking, but I’ve come to understand it from a different direction. I’m not saying I, David, my ego, my thoughts and feelings and the story I’m telling myself, am divine. I’m saying that the animating Breath of God in me still belongs to God. The animating force that God breathes into the first human wakes up this lump of clay and gives it awareness:

…Then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being. (Genesis 2:7, NRSV)

In Genesis, when God decides to limit the length of a human life, God says this enigmatic phrase:

Then the Lord said, “My spirit shall not abide in mortals forever, for they are flesh; their days shall be one hundred twenty years.” (Genesis 6:3)

I do not think there is enough in the Bible to construct a metaphysics of life and consciousness, but there are hints that the authors think along the lines of Krishna, here: We are sustained by the breath, or the spirit of God. The stuff in us that gives us life is God, and when it departs, it returns to God. Without it, we are just dirt.

Of course, the dirt is also God, just in a different way.

This is different from the usual mind-body or soul-body split we think of in Western philosophy. The field and the Knower are both different manifestations of God’s endless creative action.

Prayer:
God within me and beyond me, draw me out of my false self and into unity with You.

The Bible and the Bhagavad Gita 51: True Love

An African boy with an “I Love Jesus” shirt in front of a painting in a museum, Paris, 2017, by Alexandralovejesus. From Wikimedia Commons

As he explains the Way of Devotion (bhakti yoga), Krishna describes how someone behaves who has truly renounced attachment to the results of their actions and devoted themselves to God:

That devotee who looks upon friend and foe with equal regard, who is not buoyed up by praise nor cast down by blame, alike in heat and cold, pleasure and pain, free from selfish attachments, the same in honor and dishonor, quiet, ever full, in harmony everywhere, firm in faith — such a one is dear to me. (BG, 12:18) 

This is the conclusion of a long passage in which Krishna lists attributes of a devotee, and says, “this one is dear to me.” I don’t read this as being conditional love: God loves everybody. I read this as describing how, as we enter into this reciprocal love, we are opened more and more to God’s love for us. We realize how dear we are to God when we allow ourselves to be loved by God, and see this radiant love extended to every atom of the universe.

There are two new Testament passages that echo this for me. The first is Jesus’s words in the Sermon on the Mount, which describes this impartial love of looking “upon friend and foe with equal regard.” God’s love is described as sunshine and rain, which falls on us all without distinction.

But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. (Matthew 5:44-45 NRSV)

The second is Paul describing the equanimity of one who has renounced attachment to results:

I have learned how to be content in any circumstance. I know the experience of being in need and of having more than enough; I have learned the secret to being content in any and every circumstance, whether full or hungry or whether having plenty or being poor. I can endure all these things through the power of the one who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:11-13 CEB)

I appreciate the way Krishna links impartial love with non-attachment. Though love can change us, love is not about fixing us. Love doesn’t enter our lives like a scolding parent trying to force a particular result. Love is about radical acceptance. It is through non-attachment that we come to understand true love.

Paul’s strength and endurance in every situation doesn’t come from gritting his teeth and plowing ahead. It comes from acceptance and non-attachment. As I learn to love impartially, like God’s own sunshine and rainfall, I come to bask in the sun and feel joy in the rain. I can be content in many circumstances.

Prayer:
Source of Love, of sunshine and rain, I long to love as you love, without anxiety or attachment to results.

The Bible and the Bhagavad Gita 50: The Way of Devotion

A Muslim Boy Praying in the Mosque, 2015, by chidioc. From Wikimedia Commons and Pixabay

After his cosmic vision, Arjuna asks who among Krishna’s devotees “are more established in yoga?” Krishna responds:

 Those who set their hearts on me and worship me with unfailing devotion and faith are more established in yoga. (BG, 12:2)

Just as a reminder, the four paths of yoga Krishna describes are:

  • Karma yoga: the way of selfless service
  • Raja yoga: the yoga of meditation
  • Jnana yoga: the way of knowledge (jnana, gnosis, and know all share the same root)
  • Bhakti yoga: the way of devotion and surrender

Krishna goes on to say that if you can’t do one of these, do the other. If philosophizing about the divine is too difficult, still your mind with meditation. If you are too restless to still your mind, engage your hands in selfless service. If none of these work, surrender the results of your actions to God and just worship.

I pointed out earlier that when discussing the four paths of yoga, Krishna has a habit of calling whichever one he is talking about at the moment the “best,” or praising its particular virtues. Here he does it again:

Better indeed is knowledge then mechanical practice. Better indeed than knowledge is meditation. But better still is surrender to attachment of results, because there follows immediate peace. (12:12)

I think “best” in this case has to do with the effects of practice on the practitioner. Devotion is best because gives us immediate results, a sense of peace and acceptance.*

To be honest, this is not how I usually think, and it does not come naturally for me. In church culture, prayer is often described as a way of “giving it to God,” turning loose of our concerns and troubles and realizing “it’s all in God’s hands.” I’ve generally found such sayings to be trite and unsatisfying. Yet I suspect there is wisdom here that is closer to “non-attachment to results.” Devotion, the way Krishna describes it, is not simply a naïve belief that God will make everything work out for the best if we just trust enough or try to believe in our hearts. It is an active process of loosing, of liberating the self through surrender and devoting the self to God. (The word Islam literally means to submit or surrender).

This is one reason I appreciate the study of Bhagavad-Gita. It gives me new language to appreciate aspects of my own faith tradition. I have a knee-jerk reaction to someone telling me to just “give it to God in prayer.” But I do understand the concept of surrendering the results of your actions. There is a reason this section follows Arjuna’s vision of Krishna’s glory: It’s easier to “give it to God” when you realize Who God Is. 

*(There are other ways to understand this passage, but they involve discussions of translation that are beyond my ability).

Prayer:
I let go of my attachments so that I can hold more firmly to You.

Summary: Critical and Devotional Reading

924px-The_Magdalen_Reading_-_Rogier_van_der_Weyden
 

We’ve worked through Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount, and followed it up with Luke’s Sermon on the Plain. These were my objectives during the Lenten devotionals and those that followed:

  • To show that critical reading and devotional reading can go hand-in-hand. Each begins with a different question. Critical reading asks “What did the original author mean?” Devotional reading asks “What does this text mean to me?” When we come to some of Jesus’s most foundational sayings, I think we need to ask both kinds of questions.
     
  • To deepen understanding about the ekklesia. Conventional popular thinking argues, “Jesus never meant to create the church.” That would be a surprise to Matthew and Luke! Matthew’s Jesus clearly intends to create a community of prophets. The Sermon on the Mount is his manifesto for how the church should be “the light of the world.” Luke’s Jesus seems pretty confident that the Holy Spirit will do the job. Both versions of Jesus have no use for personal, private spirituality that doesn’t change the world. He believes our inner light should manifest in society.
     
  • To show how different biblical authors interpreted Jesus differently. Both Matthew and Luke are working from the same set of Jesus sayings, but come to different conclusions about how to understand them. What was true in biblical times is true today: we need different theological perspectives to reveal complex truth.

More than one thing can be true at a time! This is part of why, in my preaching and teaching, I try to give people a buffet of theological options. Christian history is deep and diverse, and what works for some simply will not work for others.

I’m going to turn now in a different direction: doing a critical and devotional comparison of the Bible and the Bhagavad Gita. This emerges from my conviction that if God is going to save the world, God must do so with the help of non-Christians. Bill Hybels often said that the church is the hope of the world, that the church is God’s plan A and there is no plan B. I do think that the ekklesia represents Christ’s physical body on earth, and that God intends to create a community that will change the world. But the climate crisis reveals that this salvation community cannot be made up only of Christians. We ain’t gonna save the world by ourselves.

And why should anyone trust us to? The legacy of the colonizing church in the West is a theology of domination and exclusion. It has treated the Earth as a resource to be strip-mined, packaged, and sold in the service of oligarchy. Its theology is far from the interconnected web of life we see in the creation story, where human beings are created on the same day as the rest of the animals, where we are unique mainly in that we are assigned the role of loving and caring for the Earth as God does.

While I believe Jesus intended and commissioned a prophetic community, I also believe that the church does not have a monopoly on truth or on God. Indeed, as we’ve seen in Matthew and Luke, Jesus seemed frustrated with religious posturing and exclusivism. He was less concerned with how people labeled themselves and more concerned with how they put love into action.

We in the church desperately need a different way to frame our role and identity, our very sense of self, to manifest God’s kin-dom in this present crisis. And that’s why I’m going to turn to a different faith tradition to get some perspective on my own.  

 Prayer:
Source of Truth, deepen my understanding.

Inner and Outer Light

DiwaliOilLampCrop

Photo by Arne Hückelheim (click for source)

 

People don’t light a lamp and then put it in a closet or under a basket. Rather, they place the lamp on a lampstand so that those who enter the house can see the light. Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your whole body is full of darkness. Therefore, see to it that the light in you isn’t darkness. If your whole body is full of light—with no part darkened—then it will be as full of light as when a lamp shines brightly on you. (Luke 11:33-36 CEB)

  • First, the context: Just before he says this, a woman says “Happy is the mother who gave birth to you and who nursed you.” He replies, “Happy rather are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.” Remember this — I’m going to come back to it in a moment. 
  • Jesus then talks about how people are often slow to believe and act on the truth. What he is offering, he says, is better than Solomon’s wisdom and more urgent that Jonah’s prophetic mission. Then he makes this statement about lamps and light. 
  • There are actually two sayings here that mirror Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount: a) Lighting an oil lamp and b) your eye is the lamp of the body (click the links to see what I wrote about them there). This takes some careful unwinding, because Luke actually uses the oil lamp saying once more in 8:16-19. Again, this illustrates how what Jesus said can be interpreted many different ways—not only by different authors, but even by the same author at different times! 
  • In this context, Jesus is talking about why we have trouble seeing and acting on the truth. Jesus says his teaching is like a lamp set on a lampstand. Everything he’s doing is done publicly, in clear sight of everyone. 
  • One of the competing spiritual worldviews of this time was Gnosticism. In Gnosticism, those who are spiritually enlightened pass secret knowledge to others. Christianity rejected this system and claimed that salvation was available, by grace, to all, not just to “spiritual elites.” 
  • But sometimes people are not able to see the truth because their eyesight is clouded (“unhealthy”). 
  • As in Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount, Jesus here tells us that there are two sources of light: external and internal. But there, in Matthew’s gospel, it was about greed and our perception of money. Here it is about our perception of the truth. 
  • It’s also about Jesus’s identity, as one who brings light to the earth. For people who can’t see clearly, it doesn’t matter how brightly he shines or how publicly he acts; they will remain in darkness. 
  • But the goal is to get the light into you
  • Remember how Jesus corrected the woman who centered on Jesus’s identity? He pointed back to putting his teaching into practice. It is better to do what I teach, Jesus implied, than to be a blood relative of mine. Light that is hidden is no light at all.  
  • I’d go further: It is better to do what Jesus teaches than to call yourself a Christian.

Prayer:
Light of the World, you shine in public, and you shine in me. Help me fill my life and my world with your light.

How Would You Treat Your Children?

800px-Father_And_Son_(68484147)

Photo by Dr Sanket Mehta

 
 

Everyone who asks, receives. Whoever seeks, finds. To everyone who knocks, the door is opened. Which father among you would give a snake to your child if the child asked for a fish? If a child asked for an egg, what father would give the child a scorpion? If you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him? (Luke 11:10-13)

  • Here’s the context: the disciples have asked Jesus to teach them to pray, so he taught them the Lord’s prayer. Jesus followed up with a parable about a man knocking on a friend’s door in the middle of the night. Jesus has said that God is not too comfortable to answer or bothered about when we choose to pray.  
  • This saying above is almost identical to the one in Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount, but it has a different context. 
  • One way to translate the first sentence more literally is, “Each who asks receives: the seeker finds, the knocker has the door opened.” We can see this as three separate actions, or we can see that both seeking and knocking are forms of asking. I think part of the emphasis is that people ask and receive in different ways. 
  • How would you treat your own children? I’m often amazed that people ascribe actions or attitudes to God that are beneath our own. Would you condemn your own children to an eternity to torment? Would you strike them with hurricanes, plagues, or natural disasters? Would you ignore you own children asking for bread? If not, why would we ascribe such hateful things to God? Jesus is talking about prayer, but I think we can extend it to other things. God wants to give you God’s own breath (pneuma, spirit). 
  • Luke is all about the Holy Spirit. In fact, the HS becomes a character in the sequel to Luke’s gospel. Where Matthew says the Father will give “good things” to those who pray, Luke says God will give the Holy Spirit
  • Unless you are in a Pentecostal tradition, you probably haven’t been taught that you even could pray for the Holy Spirit. “Is that something I’m supposed to pray for?” Luke seems to believe that it is obvious. While I don’t think the primary expression of the Holy Spirit is speaking in tongues or faith healing, I do think we can—and should—pray for the very Breath of God to fill us up. 
  • A woman once cautioned me to “be careful what you pray for.” She related a story about a friend who had prayed for something, received it, and regretted it. But if someone gave you something you asked for, knowing it would hurt you, they would be more like the devil than like God. (In fact, Ray Bradbury wrote a creepy story about this very concept. Stories about djinns (or genies) also fit this paradigm). She was expressing a popular idea from folklore, not the Bible, about wishes. This is the passage that contradicts that superstitious reasoning. God is like a loving parent who wants to give God’s very breath to us, or a friend who delights in helping friends.

Prayer:
God, I am your child. Give me your breath. 

“Asking for a Friend”

Breads_of_Russia

Photo by Dmitry Makeev

 
 

He also said to them, “Imagine that one of you has a friend and you go to that friend in the middle of the night. Imagine saying, ‘Friend, loan me three loaves of bread because a friend of mine on a journey has arrived and I have nothing to set before him.’ Imagine further that he answers from within the house, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up to give you anything.’ I assure you, even if he wouldn’t get up and help because of his friendship, he will get up and give his friend whatever he needs because of his friend’s brashness. And I tell you: Ask and you will receive. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened to you. Everyone who asks, receives. Whoever seeks, finds. To everyone who knocks, the door is opened. (Luke 11:5-10)

Context: The disciples have just asked Luke’s Jesus to teach them to pray. Jesus has taught them the short version of The Lord’s Prayer. He then goes on to tell this parable.

  • “Asking for a friend.” I’m not sure why this meme has recently entered our social media consciousness. It’s usually said with a nod and a wink as a way of sharing an opinion or a joke, but we couch it as asking for advice from the general public “for a friend.” 
  • Intercessory prayer is asking God to do something for someone. We are interceding, asking for a friend—sincerely. 
  • Jesus characterizes prayer as asking one friend to help out another. I think this is a beautiful image. It’s probably not coincidence that Jesus just taught a prayer asking for daily bread
  • Parables are not simply illustrations of what God is like. The point of this illustration is that God is not like a reluctant friend who is simply too comfortable to get up to help us out. We call this apophatic theology—describing what God is not (Its opposite is kataphatic theology, describing what God is like). 
  • The image is supposed to be amusing. The reluctant friend dragging himself to the door, rubbing his eyes. The sound of the door unlocking, opening just wide enough to thrust out three loaves of bread. “Here, take them.” “Thanks so much! Sorry to bother you.” “Mm,” God grunts, shutting the door. 
  • Even if he wouldn’t answer out of friendship, he would answer because of his friend’s audacity. This last word is hard to translate, but it seems to indicate, “I can’t believe you’re asking for this at three in the morning.” 
  • He will give his friend whatever he needs. Not just bread. The implication is that the friend could ask for nearly anything, and the lesson is that we should not be afraid to ask. 
  • “Is this what you imagine God is like? Too sleepy to answer the door?” Jesus seems to be asking. He sets us up to hear the next saying: Ask, seek, knock. 
  • This parable isn’t in Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount, but the “Ask, seek, knock” saying is. You can read about Matthew’s version here. We tend to conflate the sayings, but Matthew’s version has a different context. Matthew is talking about letting people seek their own path. Luke’s version is addressing prayer
  • Luke goes on to talk further about prayer and relationships. We’ll look at the rest of the saying tomorrow.

Prayer:
Great Mystery, we often project our weaknesses onto you. Shatter our expectations by answering our prayers for your kin-dom, for bread, and for mercy.

STIITSOTP (Stuff That Isn’t In the Sermon on the Plain): The Lord’s Prayer

1640-50

Painting by Giovanni Battista Salvi da Sassoferrato

 
 

Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” Jesus told them, “When you pray, say:

‘Father, uphold the holiness of your name.
Bring in your kingdom.
Give us the bread we need for today.
Forgive us our sins,
    for we also forgive everyone who has wronged us.
And don’t lead us into [trial].’”
(Luke 11:1-4 CEB)

  • Much of the material that Matthew put into the Sermon on the Mount, Luke chose to put into his chapter 11 instead of the Sermon on the Plain. If you want to compare Luke’s version to Matthew’s version of the Lord’s Prayer, click here
  • In Luke’s version, the disciples ask for this prayer after they see Jesus praying. “Teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” This is new information! We don’t know what John taught his disciples, but apparently it was a prayer that made an impression on the people who heard it.  
  • Daniel Erlander (author of Manna and Mercy) says that this was a common practice among teachers and disciples in the ancient world; when they ask him to teach them to pray, they are asking for a summary of his teaching, the things most important to Jesus. In this prayer, Jesus emphasizes manna (daily bread) and mercy (forgiveness). Erlander uses this prayer as a lens through which to read the whole Bible. Jesus see the answer to the world’s problems as 1) a recognition that everything is a gift from God’s abundance, and 2) a loving, merciful, egalitarian attitude toward our neighbors. It’s a powerful vision, and fits with Luke’s emphasis on social justice. 
  • The CEB translates the last word “temptation,” but I think “trial” is better. It is the same Greek word Paul uses in his letter to the Galatians when he says, “Though my poor health burdened [or tested] you, you didn’t look down on me or reject me” (Galatians 4:14). Words can have different meanings in different contexts, and it is possible that “temptation” is the correct reading. Luke may have a different theology than I do! But I prefer “trial” both for theological and textual reasons. Let me point out again: this is a conscious choice on my part. We are always making choices when we read the Bible. 
  • If you compare this to Matthew’s version, you’ll see it is shorter. Matthew uses language Matthew likes: lots more “in the skies (heavens)” references. Luke doesn’t talk as much about the skies; he’s talking about what happens on this planet.

Jesus goes on to talk more about prayer, and that’s where we’ll hear some more familiar material tomorrow.

Prayer:
Lord, teach us to pray; teach us to desire the things you want us to desire.

The Sermon on the Plain: Why We Read Critically

A_beauty_reading_by_Utagawa_Kunisada_(I)

Illustration by Utagawa Kunisada

 
 

We’ve come to the end of the Luke’s Sermon on the Plain. It is shorter than Matthew’s more famous version, but I hope that it’s clear how they are each important in their own way. (You can click the links to read them in full).

I also hope that it’s clear that we choose how to hear Jesus’s words. Even the gospel authors made choices about how to interpret Jesus’s sayings. They placed these sayings in particular contexts based on their own understanding of what Jesus meant.

Here’s the structure of the Sermon on the Plain, which is found in Luke 6:

  • Happy are you who are oppressed (v 20-23).
  • How terrible for you who oppress (v 24-26).
  • Stage 1: Love your enemies and treat people the way you want to be treated (v 27-31).
  • Stage 2: Actually, love the way God loves; be children of the Most High (v 32-36).
  • Give everyone the grace you would want for yourself (v 37-38).
  • Don’t presume you are morally superior to others (v 39-42).
  • Focus on what’s going on inside yourself (v 43-45).
  • In order to put these words into action, dig deep. Only then can you claim to be a follower of Jesus (v 46-49).

There’s a lot of nuance missing in this summary, of course. There is always a background of social justice and liberation in Luke’s gospel, as we’ve seen. I invite you to read the whole thing again (click here), to put it all together and reflect on what we’ve explored.

If you’re comparing the Sermon on the Plain to the Sermon on the Mount, you may also be wondering: What happened to all that other material from Matthew’s gospel? What happened to the Lord’s Prayer? The light under a bushel? What happened to “Ask, seek, knock?”

Luke put them in different places. Again, he heard something different in Jesus’s words, and so he gave these sayings a different context.

That is where we will turn next.

Prayer:
Jesus, your words have power to heal and transform. Help me hear them in many different ways, and not just with my ears, but with my inner self.


PS: I’ll be doing a comparative reading of the Bhagavad Gita and the Bible starting May 6.