One of the most controversial aspects of the ministry of Jesus Christ, at least to his Jewish contemporaries, was the intimacy of his relationship to God. God as taught in the synagogues of the day was so awesome and so powerful that Jews were forbidden to speak or write the name. He was a God of thunder, judgment, anger and vengeance. He was to be feared and obeyed in equal measure.
And then along came Jesus, who referred to God in the simplest of terms. He used a childhood term to refer to God, calling him “Abba,” or “Papa.” He claimed an intimate relationship with God, and called his followers to claim the same intimacy. “I am in my Father,” he said, “and you in me, and I in you.” In other words, it is the energy of God that makes us all One – One with the One, and One with each other.
This is not to say, of course, that the idea of God transcendent – the God of storms and awesome power – is wrong. God, after all, can only be defined as that which is always greater than any definition. God is transcendent, and we can powerfully experience the power of God in nature and in the vastness of the universe.
But at the same time, God is immanent – the same sacred energy expressing as us, as the universe and as absolute Nothing. And Jesus taught clearly that it is with this aspect of God as us that we can and must profitably concern ourselves. “Ask, and you will receive,” he tells his disciples, “that your joy may be full.”
And how do we express this immanent Presence? Jesus declared the answer again and again. “Love one another, as I have loved you.” It is through recognizing and releasing the power of love in our hearts that we consciously connect with God; it is what we desire with the love of our hearts that we will receive, that our joy may be full.
Today I AM centered in God, and God is centered in me, because I AM centered in my heart.