Outline of Cross of David
Many of us have subconscious ambivalence about disasters that fall on other people. Deep down there is the quiet whisper of a thought that maybe they deserved it. And we didn’t. These aren’t pretty sides of us, but it’s helpful to look at ourselves honestly. After all, these thoughts have been with us humans since we were pre-literate. Even the ancient pagans, our fore-fathers and fore-mothers, developed ways of appeasing powerful gods, getting these gods to look the other way, paying them off to spare their lives and families from the natural disasters all around them.
I want to look
at a couple of pictures. Nothing fancy, just a couple of lines, really.
These little drawings help me understand my own relationship to God
and to other people. They also help me understand the idea of “letting
go” of excess baggage, things that hold me pinned down to the
ground, that interfere with my own spiritual development. Here is the
first picture. It is a dot that illustrates the universe at the moment
before the Big Bang. It is not drawn to scale.
a few days, we come to the first humans living on the earth, slowly
awakening. Here is a little line drawing of how humans first must
have thought of themselves here on the ground – as they began
to develop the power of thought.
Pretty lonely. Just them and the other animals. On the other hand, everything was peachy-keen, sort of Garden of Eden like. Mankind in its infancy was much like a smiling infant. All its food needs, warmth and shelter were taken care of just fine, thanks. Anxiety? What's to be anxious about? Our early brains were somewhat smaller, speech not yet developed and powers of imagination pretty limited to pictures of delicious fruits, nuts and tasty small animals. But empowered by whatever drives human development upwards and to the more complex, this Garden of Eden state of Oceanic Bliss did not last.
As our brains developed so did language and abstract conceptual ability. Now that our primitive human ancestors could think somewhat as we do today, humanity became more aware of what was going on around them. Before long, the idea that something or somebody powerful caused things to happen here on the ground – or not happen – took hold.
Mankind and Unapproachable gods
People imagined unseen powers or spirits or gods far above the earth. These powers caused or withheld the rain, threw lightening bolts, made thunder, floods, earthquakes, disasters, disease and death. Or they caused the fruit to appear on the trees and bushes.
Gods. Unseen powers. These gods are not visible to us. They are out of reach. Worse, they are capricious, unpredictable. This drawing shows how primitive humans might have thought of themselves in relation to powerful gods who had complete and arbitrary control over the lives of humans and other animals down here on the ground. In this view gods are up there. Humans are down here. Look out if they throw a bolt of lightning over the side!
This represents the idea of humans down here influencing these powerful gods up there in some way. Attracting their attention to the payoff, or appeasement we have for them. Sort of a primitive prayer to be left alone. Sometimes it worked. Sometimes it didn't. To improve the odds. the next bit of logic would be to lay out an even better gift. "Maybe if the gift is good enough the gods will really enjoy it and leave us alone. Or, in a more complex thought, "Maybe if our gift is really good, the gods will be friendly to us and like us and won't hurt or kill us." This idea of giving to the gods is an appeasement, a buy-off or a payoff to capricious and dangerous god.
idea is also what's behind Idol worship. Idol worship is another
way to get closer to the unreachable god. Make a representation of
the unreachable god out of wood or metal. It’s a short step
from there to worshipping the idol itself, as if the wood or metal
is now the unreachable god. That way you can see whom you are sacrificing
to, and even have a little conversation with it. Pretty primitive. The old Egyptian pharaohs were so mad they actually thought they were
gods themselves. You can recognize this pyramid shape as their reach
THEN in our little story, a big change took place. God, the One God,
reached down to us. He spoke across the gap between Olympus or Heaven
above and us down here on the ground. Here is a picture of something
reaches down to Mankind
This is a picture
of God reaching down to humans. In our books of Genesis and Exodus,
God makes his presence known to us. He does it with a word. He speaks.
He speaks to Noah, to Abraham. God is no longer remote. He is not
arbitrary. He tells us he will act. And these actions are not arbitrary
and capricious. He is deliberate. He makes promises.
Even more dramatically, God enters human history. God reaches down to us as we are reaching up to him. God lowers himself to enter our world. On Mount Sinai He gave us a set of rules for how to live our lives – daily, seasonally and yearly. Our reaching up to him intersects with his reaching down to us. This is the First Covenant.
God reaches down to meet Man reaching up
the Law and the Commandments.
But God is not through. He announces something new to come.
He says something new, through Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel, his prophets.
God speaks to us through Jeremiah, the prophet:
31] "Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah,
 not like the covenant which I made with their fathers when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant which they broke, though I was their husband, says the LORD.
 But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Finally God joins himself with us, becoming Man to make Man God. He lifts us to him, and narrows the path to show us the clear way to him. He shows us the way to life is to let go of self, to crucify our ego, our material ideas. He shows us the way to freedom is to release, to let go. And when we let go, sacrifice our ego, we can rise. We jettison the ballast of our excess attachment to material goods so our souls and spirits can rise. Or to be more exact, to allow the Moshiach, the anointed one, the Christ already within each of us, to arise within each of us. This is the Way to Life.
And, where are we going on this Way to Life? Through His prophets,
through our Gospels, through our ministers and through our mystics,
God invites us to join with Him in Total Unity, the Complete Union
complete Union to come
When we will be in union with Christ and He in us and all in the Father. As he promised.
Of course, the Christian mystics – and physicists – would take it a step further, and describe the return to complete unity of all with God this way. A reversal of the Big Bang with the job completed. Redemption of all.
Reversal of Big Bang - Redemption of All
I find this little set of sketches helpful. Think of this little exercise as the Cross of David; the Star of David as a movement on the way to the Cross of Christ. Which is itself a sign of our way home.
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