Letters to Jesus (Seeking Spiritual Connection) - 5
I sometimes think that to consider our relationship with God, and God’s with us, we have to navigate through overly charted seas of mythology. What we look at when we consider the religions of the Greeks, Romans, Persians, or early mystery religions, we now call their mythology, just as sometime in the future our Christian mythology will be recollected – or, maybe, we’re in the midst of that kind of analysis right now.
A myth is a traditional story used to explain some phenomenon. The word “myth” does not necessarily mean fiction. I do not believe the gospel reportage is mythical, but tradition has embellished much of our popular beliefs with myths about “earning” our salvation, about prayer, about The Father, and particularly about the saints. Xenophobic myths and legends about national patrons are abundant. Apocryphal writings from the early centuries of Christianity perpetuated many myths. Much of Christian mythology is genuine exposition that has been superseded.
I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t enjoy a good story. A story is a great way to get someone’s attention, to entertain someone, and to teach someone. You, Jesus, used stories often in exposition of basic truths. These are a part of the mythology of Christianity. But many of us (myself included) attach to the meaning of myth a passé quality that, with time and knowledge, is outgrown but kept with a fond memory of simpler times and simpler explanations that no longer satisfy our intelligence.
As we go through life we pick up more and more bits and pieces of mythology, but all the bits and pieces, all the wonderful stories about the things You did, about the early church and the saints, all the legends when put together equal, in some form or fashion, the basic messages You taught as recorded in the gospels. Mythology can become just so much baggage. Therefore, it’s wise at times to sweep it all away and reflect on the simple truths of our relationship with God.