Do you know Trevor Noah? He is a brilliant comedian who is the host of The Today Show in the US. The other day I watched a skit he did on the British occupation of India. Part of the confusion was that the British believed their occupation of India was ordained by God - but this really confused the Indians, because they did not understand which of many gods
So whose god is the true God? Is the true God the one which each reborn Christian discovers when they get reborn? Is it any of the Hindu gods that have been worshipped for millenia? Or is it the Christian God who will reincarnate sometime soon, although Christians assure me they don’t believe in reincarnation? Did Jesus truly rise from the dead after three days? Was this when he reincarnated, and has the Christian world been waiting in vain for over two hundred years for that reincarnation? Is it the God of Islam, who enforces sharia law? Or is the true God the God who insists that Jews now switch on lights on the Sabbath?
Or are we all wrong, and the true God is only represented in the United States, where prayer meetings are held to drive any witchcraft away from the country’s fearless current leader? And I kid you not – adults who have a right to vote swooned around one such preacher while he was yelling something like “yaba daba doo” to drive those spirits – who have way too much common sense to follow the leadership farce – away, so that the next election can be won and the tragi-comedy can continue. I think God was not sure whether to laugh or cry in Her hands – or is it His hands – at that circus in the name of God. And I think Fred Flintstone turns in his grave every time that video gets played.
I know when I talk about God, I am as ignorant as the next person, because we can at best guess about the nature of the true God.
I am currently reading Hare Krishna material that explains the Personality of Godhead – and the one thing that becomes clear when you read the material, is that the most explicit language on earth can only give a weak imitation within the limits of words and sounds, of the Personality of Godhead. But I suppose part of our journey here is to get one tiny step closer to understanding this during this lifetime, as part of our eternal journey.
Part of the puzzle for me is the division of the one true God into a Father, Son and Holy Ghost. So, this is one God which is in fact three gods, and that is right, but the multiple Hindu gods are wrong? Or should it really be the Father, Sun (as in the sun which shines every day) and the Holy Ghost (which proves the existence of spirits, reincarnation, and an eternal life)? After all, pagan beliefs have been around for many thousands of years longer than Jesus and his crowd – that is, if Jesus actually existed – for me, the jury is still out on that one.
So, who and what is my God? I see God in the smiles and hugs of my loved ones. I feel God in the early morning when the day slowly breaks. I taste God in a fresh meal. I hear God in songs like “The sound of silence”, and in Mozart’s music, and in the talents of young people who sing and play music that make my toes curl. I feel God in quiet moments, and in those times when I feel gratitude for both large and small miracles, and in the satisfaction of a job well done. I smell God in a peony, and in a rose, and I see God in a clavia and foxglove. I have felt God in moments of closeness and intimacy. And the list goes on and on. This is my God.
What if my God is the true God for me, but not for anyone else? Do I try to convert that person to my God? Absolutely not. Many years ago, a good friend told me that she goes to church on a Sunday because her Christian faith is a resting place for her foot in a very busy world and a demanding life. I immediately grasped the truth of that, and I have never tried to convert anyone to my faith or my belief system. As far as I am concerned, each one of us is a facet on a diamond called God, with at least seven billion facets. Who says I am right, or more right than you are? It does not matter who is right – we all are, because we all are on an eternal journey.
So, if my God is the true God, and people offend my God, how do I deal with it? People like to say “oh, my God”. I personally don’t find that offensive, because quite often they see a true reflection of God in that moment, even if they may not be consciously aware of it.
However, I heard a reborn Christian say the other day that when someone says that, he feels offended, and he expects an apology. I would not expect an apology, and neither would I give one. People often use words that don’t resonate with me (which I would rather not repeat here), and my solution is simple: I ensure that I don’t use those words. Do I stay in the company of the person who uses such offensive words? It depends. Do I feel comfortable in the company of those people? If so, I simply draw a shield around me that protects me from the energy that emanates from those words. If I don’t feel comfortable with the person, I simply leave. I don’t give a sermon, and I don’t demand or expect any apology. I simply make the world a better place by starting with myself, rather than by trying to change others.
What makes your God better than mine? To be honest, I don’t care. Let’s just live in peace together, each worshiping our own version of God, and each respecting the God of others.
Maggy Whitehouse is a minister in the Independent Catholic Church, author of 16 books on the Bible and spirituality and has led workshops on Bible Metaphysics, history and mysticism in, Britain, the USA, Europe and Russia since 1992. She began in stand-up comedy at the age of 56.
She was a finalist in the 2016 Bath Comedy Awards, the 2015 Funny Women Awards, runner up in 2015’s Stand-Up for Cider and her latest review describes her as “one of the most unique, distinctive & brilliantly subversive acts I've seen in years. Oh and funny. Very funny.” (Chris Brooker. Bigmouth Comedy).
Maggy has worked as a journalist and presenter in newspapers, radio, TV and for the BBC’s famed World Service for more than 30 years and presents the Sunday morning faith programme on BBC Radio Devon.
Both her mother and her Bishop think she should get a proper job.
Maggy will explain how responsiveness added to duality makes a relationship, based on the kabbalah.
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Tu B'Shevat is the New Year for Trees. "Tu" is the number 15 in Hebrew, and Tu B'Shevat is the fifteenth day of the month of Shevat.
Judaism has several different "new years", each with a different purpose, just as for example the calendar year or the school year in the Western calendar. Tu B'Shevat is the New Year for the purpose of