What if there was a child; a baby girl, and she’s born in a remote part of the world that is cut off from modern society.
She doesn’t speak English. She can’t read any language.
She has never experienced electricity or running water. She doesn’t know what indoor plumbing is and has never purchased anything from another person using money.
Her world is primitive.
Her days are filled with gathering food for her tribe, swimming in the nearby river, and listening to her grandfather tell stories about their ancestors.
Can this little girl know God? Can she hear God’s voice? Can she experience a profound connection with the Divine?
If not, why not? Does she need someone to come and teach her religious doctrine first? Does she require a temple to channel God’s presence? Does she have to wait for a priest to arrive, or a missionary holding a holy book who can lay out the mechanics of spirituality for her?
I don’t know about you, but I cannot accept the idea that this little girl needs theology, or a book, or a temple, or a priest, or anything else in order to experience the presence of God.
First of all, because God has never required any of those things to make Godself known. All of creation pulsates with the presence of the Divine. Every bird’s song, every ripe fruit, every drop of rain, every night sky flung wide with stars is God’s voice surrounding, penetrating, permeating every pore of her being.
Temples are not necessary for encountering God’s presence.
Priests are of no use for hearing the voice of God.
Holy Books are a poor substitute for the experience of the Divine within your own heart and soul.
This little girl requires none of these things to know God, or to hear the voice of God. All she needs to do is to look up at the sky, breathe deep the air, lie still beneath the trees, float peacefully on the water, sleep softly under the stars, or simply close her eyes and feel the eternal loving presence of the Divine in her own heart.
That’s all you need to do, too.
No pastors, no churches, no gurus, no doctrines, no ministry, no religious authority…just your very own ability to be still and to know that God is near.
Whatever you do, don’t allow anyone else to mediate your connection with God.
God’s spirit has been poured out on all flesh: young and old, men and women, rich and poor, gay and straight.
The New Covenant was all about fulfilling this very promise: Everyone will know God directly, personally, and intimately without the need for anyone else to stand in the way.
The world has been reconciled to God.
Now is the time to draw near and to see for ourselves who God is and what God is like.
God is closer than your own heartbeat and as near as your own breath.
Come. Taste and see.
There is absolutely nothing in your way.
What if the Gospel of Thomas really is an accurate collection of the sayings of Christ? What if the truth found in this lost Gospel affirms something already hinted at in the New Testament documents? What if there is no separation between God and man? What if everything, and everyone, is already one with God?
The new INNER CIRCLE weekly blog series I’m teaching takes us through the Gospel of Thomas one saying at a time to uncover the beautiful reality of the Gospel message: You are in the Father, and the Father is in you, and we are all in Christ.
Keith Giles is the author of the 7-part best-selling “Jesus Un” book series from Quoir Publishing. His latest -and final book – in this series, Jesus Unarmed: How The Prince Of Peace Disarms Our Violence is available now. Keith is also the host of Second Cup with Keith [a new solo podcast available now on the Ethos Radio App, for Apple and Android and on Spotify; and the Heretic Happy Hour Podcast [along with co-hosts Matthew Distefano, Dr. Katy Valentine, and Derrick Day], and the new Apostate’s Anonymous podcast with Matthew Distefano.
He and his wife, Wendy, currently live in El Paso, TX.