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September 4, 2015

The good news for today

Some educated people and religious leaders criticized Jesus, “People who follow John the Baptist fast frequently and offer public prayers, and those who follow our religious leaders do those things; but your followers eat and drink liberally.” (Luke 5)

People felt free to challenge and criticize Jesus both about what He preached and about what his followers do. They felt superior to this carpenter from Nazareth. Though it is not quite the same today, you can put yourself there for a moment, and see this ordinary-looking Jew to ask the same question: “What’s the matter with You? Why aren’t Your followers more religious?”

The criticism here suggests that Jesus and His followers do not practice religion enough; Jesus had a reputation—failing to wash hands, not observing the Sabbath, touching corpses and women, etc.)

But Jesus points us beyond that—to the deeper Life, the More Important Way. Following Jesus means something fresh. You discover—perhaps slowly, perhaps suddenly—New Life. You wake up. You see life not as a passive passenger on time’s train, but as an explorer finding a vast vista of beauty. You take courage and listen with your inner ear. You open your heart, and your mind opens.

Now, you find the mysteries, the contradictions: Prayer is silence. Forgiveness forgives YOU. Peace appears as your revenge, fear and anger disappear. Virtue is its own reward. Heaven comes Now. Jesus lives!—present even in your stupid, arrogant and disdainful enemy.

The Good News is: Each Moment is New Gift. Eat and Drink joy beyond religion, politics, culture, habits, and prejudice—Enjoy Now!

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