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October 16, 2015

The good news for today—what is your soul? Hell? Heaven?

Jesus tells us: “I am telling you, my friends, don’t be afraid of people who kill the living body but, beyond that, can’t do anything. I’ll point out to you whom to fear. Be afraid of anybody who, beyond killing you, has the ability to put you into a hell (gehenna); oh, yes, I am telling you folks, be very afraid of that one!” (Luke 12)

Fear is a gift, a great gift of our Creator. It is Good News—great news—to be warned and alerted to specific danger.

The danger here is a killing not of the body, but of your soul. How can that be?  It makes no sense in some ways if you think of the soul as “immortal’—but an “immortal” soul is not what this is about.

In the mind of Jewish Jesus, your soul is your wordless self, your drives and principles. Your “soul” refers to how you shape your life by your decisions. It is you-in-choosing throughout your life—the flexible stretch of selections you live by through the years.

That soul—that  “you”—can die by seduction, apathy and sometimes by deliberate choice. You can shut yourself off from God and growth, from your world-creation and from people enriching you, from risk, courage and change. Be afraid of shutting yourself off! That is hell.

Your God is living, and living (as in nature) means you change and grow. Dead garbage, branches, and bodies go into the ground or into “Gehenna”—the city dump. What is worthwhile—and you need to work at keeping it—is being ALIVE! Your heart, mind and soul stay alert and alive to the world around you, responding courageously, humbly and “learningly” to everything impinging on your consciousness—and beyond. That’s heaven, the realm of what’s right.

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