Today’s Reading….

Jesus BuddhaIf you do any type of scriptural reading or spend any time studying the Bible, you will come to see a very distinct difference in the character of God in the Old and New Testament.  Although there are very often very strong links that bind the two, the God of the OT often comes across as an angry and vengeful god.  There are countless accounts of gruesome genocide, and seemingly inexplicable tales of warfare, destruction, plague and famine.  Then we get to the NT and here is Jesus, God incarnate, and he is just the opposite, a peace-loving hippie type.  Turn the other cheek and all that.  How do we reconcile the two?  Well, I am coming to understand that we first need to start looking at ourselves instead of God when we try to characterize the divine.  There is a contemporary Buddhist parable that I came across in a really great book I am reading (for the second time) called The Holy Longing by Ronald Rolheiser that does a terrific job of explaining this all:

 …”One day the Buddha, badly overweight, was sitting under a tree.  A young soldier, trim and handsome, came along, looked at the Buddha, and said: “You look like a fat pig!”  The Buddha replied: “Well, you look like God!”  “Why would you say that?” asked the rather surprised young soldier.  “Well,” replied the Buddha, ‘we see what’s inside of us.  I think about God all day and when I look out that is what I see.  You, obviously, must think about other things…”

Rolheiser will fill in the pieces…take the time to read this through….it’s really cool (you should be able to click on the pages below and read it):

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