This sermon is, of course, partly inspired by Harold Camping. As you may know, Harold Camping is the crackpot prophet who predicted that Judgment Day was to have occurred on May 21, 2011. Exactly 5 months later, that is on this past Friday, on October 21, 2011, God was to have completed his plan for creation and destroyed the entire universe. Good thing for me that didn’t happen. I would have been terribly disappointed in those last, final few moments as my life faded away. I would have been thinking, “I wasted all that time working on the damned movie and sermon for Sunday when I could have been having a lot more fun!”
On Tuesday morning, as I was working on the movie to accompany this sermon, a couple of Jehovah’s Witnesses came to our house. The woman who knocked on the door said, “We have a new Watchtower for you. The subject is ‘Five Lies about God Exposed’”. “Really,” I said, “Do you really think the God that created the universe cares what anybody says about him?” “Oh yes”, she said, “The articles in here reveal how people have been led astray by lies about God”. “So, why is God concerned about anything we think or say?” I asked. “Well, because God loves us and wants us to worship him in the right way.” was her reply. I saw I was getting nowhere, as usual, so I accepted the two tracts given to me and politely closed the door to the rush of religiosity that was sweeping into my house.
Earlier, I said this sermon was partly inspired by Harold Camping. It was also, partly inspired by the encounter with my Jehovah’s Witnesses friends. This insane fear of what I describe as the “God Machine” truly baffles me.
I can’t imagine what it would be like to possess a mindset that would compel me to walk door-to-door proselytizing to perfect strangers about my religious beliefs. Although I can understand being awed by God, or impressed, or curious, or indifferent, or in love with, or fascinated by... I still can’t comprehend being afraid of an almighty, omnipotent God. It doesn’t make sense to me to live in a universe with a God that hates me for being what and who I am.
Curiously to me, the world press treated Harold Camping’s end of the universe prediction with far less interest than his pronouncements about Judgment Day. Leave it to the press to deem the end of the entire universe as a story not worthy of attention! Usually on the second Monday of every month, the Jehovah’s Witnesses come around my neighborhood to give me a new tract. They weren’t excited about the fact that the universe was supposed to end on Friday. But then of course, they’ve been there and done that as far as end of the world predictions. In fact, they kind of wrote the book.
No, it wasn’t really Camping or the Witnesses that got my creative juices flowing. It was these little babies. They are called “Yin Yang” beans. I discovered these a few weeks ago and simply fell in love with them. As you can see, they look like the yin yang symbol of black and white opposites is painted on each one individually. To me, they are the perfect symbol that we live in a universe of infinite possibilities that is alive with dazzling varieties of structure and form. They also indicate to me that whatever God, or Gods there are, clearly delight in demonstrating a profound sense of humor.
About 25 years ago I had a powerful and lucid dream that I had died and went to a place where I joined other recently deceased human beings in a school that taught us how to manipulate time, matter, and space. We learned how to mate souls with bodies, we learned how to avert accidents for living people, and we progressively became adept at the art of creating everything from stars to life forms. That dream is what inspired the format of the movie I just showed, of beings too enamored with the joy of creation to take us mere humans seriously. I can’t help but believe that one of my fellow God-in-Training classmates made these beans for us all to enjoy.
The dream I had so long ago informed me it is possible that this life is simply a stopping off place in our collective journeys towards a perfection of our consciousness. It may be that we are all Gods in training... that the infinite expressions of creation are all part of a wonderful and universal desire of a God that renews, destroys, restores, experiences, and evolves in every filament of matter. To believe that this wonderful, loving, and awesome creator-created wants to end all of this because of our petty human perceptions, is to my mind, the great heresy. That is the true apostasy – the gross renunciation of a self-evident fact – that we are all sacred parts of a divine body. This thing we call “God”, or “Gods”, or “Process”, or “Universe”, or “Consciousness” no more wants to destroy us than itself, because of the fact that we are an integral part of this thing. This fact should be now evident, especially because the people who insist on denying creation were proven wrong on May 21, 2011 and again on October 21, 2011.
I invite you to do as I do if you wonder about the rich goodness of life, when confronted by sorry or disappointment. Take a Yin Yang bean from your pocket as a reminder of how amazingly wonderful this universe is. And as for anyone else who preaches about God’s wrath, or how we human beings are unworthy of God’s love because of our wretchedly sinful nature, or goes on about the need for salvation... don’t throw your Yin Yang bean at them. Don’t remind them about how wrong Harold Camping or the Jehovah’s Witnesses have been. Instead, go to your brother or sister, embrace them, take their hand, give them your Yin Yang bean, and say, “God loves you. So do I. There is nothing to be afraid of. The universe is a wonderful place. Take this magic bean and go in peace.”
About this blog.
This blog is a place where many of the confluences of my life can be shared. I am, at the core, a creative person. I approach everything from that basis... whether composing symphonies, playing the cello, being a serial entrepreneur, writing sermons and essays, flying airplanes, or creating software apps. I am deeply passionate about creativity, issues of social justice, and spiritual enrichment. These are fundamental to everything I do. Welcome to my journey!