In our consumer driven society (I know that’s a cliche, but it’s true) many people like to design their own religion. They will take a little of this and a little of that to create their own special little (here comes another overused meaningless word) spirituality. Usually there is no logical or empirical basis for it. We all tend to do it. We just like it. Because in the end, we actually want to be the god in our religion. Like people who get lost and end up walking in a circle because one leg is a little shorter than the other, we are born with a broken compass with ourselves as true north.
This past Sunday’s reading, Jesus taught in the synagogue and the people were amazed that He taught as one who had authority. Not only did He know what He was talking about, but His words even did what they said. His words silenced a demon. His words healed the sick. His words later forgave sins. His words restored a widow to her only son. His words actually change lives, not just intellectually, but physically.
Want a real spirituality? Real spirituality comes from Jesus’ words, not yours. It comes from the Spirit, not yours. Real spirituality springs from the all too real God who died and rose for all people whether they like it or not. Real spirituality is listening to this same Savior who speaks very clearly about right and wrong, the meaning of life, and most importantly, total and free forgiveness and eternal life won by Jesus.
Want to be truly spiritual, to actually know and experience God? Listen to His words as recorded from Genesis to Revelation. Listen to His preacher bring it home to your 21st century life (which is really no different than 4,000 years ago). Consume God in holy communion (can you get more of an experience than that?). Hang out with the very literal body of God on Sundays and any other time His church gathers. Let God be the center of your spirituality for once. Let Him and His teaching/words have authority in your mind, heart, and body.
You might be amazed that His words give you a lot more peace and hope than yours. They silence the devil who calls you either god or an unsaveable sinner. They silence the fears as you look into the grave. They silence the world that wants to rob you of hope and peace. His words call us out and they call us in. His words reveal our wounds and they heal them. His words paint a reality far more beautiful than any infantile spirituality you have sloppily constructed to help you sleep at night.
Stop being a toddler picking through the food you like and pushing the other to the side. Eat what’s in front of you. It’s real. It’s good!