A Granddaughter’s Question, A Friend’s Comment, A Wedding Reception or a Buffet, and Harry Potter, Blue Jays, a Newsletter from New Mexico, September 9, 2009, and the Number 524
I spent a few hours today trying to write an article that was going to end up being too long. I know, what’s new? My first thought was that I needed to edit it substantially and get it down to about 2-3 pages. Then I realized that there were 4 main points in the article and each point could stand alone so instead of one lengthy article here is the first of 4 articles that I will hopefully be able to tie together at the end.
The 4 points are going to involve a) a question from our ten year old granddaughter, b) a friend’s comment that he seems to have more problems after he attends church c) a comparison of religions to wedding receptions and buffets and finally d) the possibility that i) a newsletter from New Mexico, ii) September 9, 2009, iii) Harry Potter, iv) blue jays and v) the number 524 were all part of a single synchronicity I have been experiencing over the past couple of weeks and which may be relevant to you as well.
Part 1 - A Granddaughter’s Question
A few days ago, our 10 year old granddaughter, Alexandra, asked her grandmother, a.k.a. my wife, Kelly, a question. It went something like this, “Grandma, in the Bible it says Jesus fed thousands with a few loaves of bread and fish. Did that really happen because I don’t see anything like that happening today?”
Alexandra didn’t come and ask Grandma about the “trinity.” She didn’t want an explanation about justification, sanctification or glorification. She didn’t want a teaching on the inerrancy of the Bible. She wasn’t interested in systematic theology. What got her attention was the “miraculous.” What she wanted to know was whether those “supernatural things” in the Bible actually happened because they sure didn’t seem to be happening in the world that she is familiar with. Reading a little bit between the lines of her question, she was asking Grandma, “If it was real back then Grandma, if really happened, could it happen today, could it happen in my world and in fact, in my life? Grandma, could I do something like that?”
Using a word that some may find inappropriate but I use very deliberately and I think very appropriately, our granddaughter wanted to know if “magick” was real and if so, how it happened and who could do it. If Jesus really did those things, could others as well?
She wasn’t asking about the magician who pulls a bunny out of his hat? She wanted to know if there was a level of “magick” that could actually manifest today in her world and that would actually change reality as she knows it. She didn’t use these words but she was asking if what she viewed to be miraculous could actually invade and transform her physical world. If Grandma’s answer to her question was “Yes,” the following question was not far behind. “If it is real, what do I have to do to experience things like that in my life?”
What would you say to my granddaughter if she asked you that question? Have you ever asked yourself that question? And maybe the more relevant question would be, “Did you once ask yourself that question but somewhere in the past stop asking that question?” Have you come to the place where your spirituality no longer has room for “magick?”
I have the feeling that it isn’t “if” Alexandra will ask us what she has to do to experience the “magik” of Jesus but “when” she will ask. At some point and maybe not too far into the future she will ask us what she needs to do to experience the “magick” of the supernatural in her life.
There is a story told of a new convert to Christianity who starts attending church. It doesn’t take very long before he is getting frustrated so he approaches the leaders of the church and asks a simple question.
“When are we going to get to do the good stuff? When are we going to start doing what Jesus did?”
Alexandra doesn’t go to a church but the “good stuff,” the magical stuff in the Bible caught her attention. If my granddaughter asks me what she needs to do to experience the “magick” of Jesus in her life, I think I would respond in the following way.
“Alexandra I have been asking the same question for nearly 30 years. I don’t exactly know what you need to do but I am doing all I can to find the answer to your question because I want to know the answer as much as you do. For the first time in a long time, Grandma and I believe that we just might be on the right track to find out how we can experience the “magick” of Jesus that you are asking about and we will gladly share with you all of our experiences.
I can tell you, Alexandra, what hasn’t worked for Grandma and me. Sitting in a pew listening to sermons explaining intellectually conceived doctrines hasn’t done it. Going to church Sundays, Saturdays, Friday nights, and Wednesday nights or any other day or night hasn’t done it. Changing churches and denominations hasn’t done it. Studying the Bible for years hasn’t done it and yet, Alexandra, I am going to encourage you to continue to read the Bible because thanks to the discovery of old scrolls and lots of other things, we are starting to understand the Bible very differently and this new understanding just might help us answer your question.
Alexandra, the “magick” of Jesus transformed lives and invaded what we call the physical world with such power and force that what seemed to be real, was often changed instantly. What is really amazing and wonderful is he wasn’t the only one to do these magical things and, in fact, he says that you can do them as well. Alexandra, even if Grandpa and Grandma never find the answer to your question, our prayer will be that you do and that you never settle for anything less. Don’t waste your time with spiritual things and religions that do not include the “magick” of Jesus. As a child of God, it is your right and your destiny to live a life filled with the “magick” that Jesus exhibited in his life.”
I think that is what I would say to my granddaughter. Jesus said that unless you become as a child, you cannot experience the kingdom of God. I think my ten year old granddaughter understands kingdoms. They have kings and queens and princes and princesses and people (dare I say, wizards and witches) who can do “magick” and if God has a kingdom, then all of that must be part of God’s kingdom as well. Kingdoms have people and animals and supernatural beings that can do amazing things. “Magical” things happen in kingdoms. Alexandra doesn’t need Walt Disney movies or Disneyland commercials to tell her that. The Bible tells her so. Alexandra is discovering Jesus, the miracle worker, Jesus the true “magick” worker, or as I put it in an article I wrote back in November of 2008, Jesus the “shaman.” This Jesus caught her attention. She’s not interested in systematic theology or debating the rapture or getting into the once saved always saved debate. She really doesn’t care about Calvinism or Arminianisn. She isn’t interested in whether she should be a Baptist or a Pentecostal and thank goodness, she hasn’t been introduced to the God who will punish her forever if she doesn’t believe all the right things.
What she has done is run smack dab into the possibility of changing reality, her reality, the reality of the world around her and she wants to know if Jesus still does that and if she can do that as well. She has run into the possibility that she might be far more than she has realized up to now. Her soul/spirit is awakening and somewhere deep down inside her, the “magick” of Jesus resonated and though she may not yet even understand it, something inside of her was attracted to this Jesus. Something inside of her is stirring the pot and what is brewing is the realization that just maybe she could do what Jesus did.
I, for one, think I will watch my granddaughter very carefully for two reasons. First, I want to do all I can to make sure that she doesn’t end up like most of us adults, with a bland, routine religious practice sadly lacking the mystical and the miraculous.
Secondly, she just might find the answer before I do. I have this crazy idea that maybe her generation will be the mystics who will truly experience the “magick” that most of us have lost.
I will end this part asking you the following: Have you settled for a religion or spirituality that finds itself absent of the mystical, miraculous and magical? If so, why? Have your experiences in the religious world and life in general, caused you to give up the hope of any of that being possible? Are you fellowshipping with people whose hearts are passionately pursuing the mystical and magical experiences we read about in the Bible and other places? Are you participating in teachings and discussions and workshops with people who will encourage you on this journey or have you decided that all of that "stuff" is childish? Have you decided that all miracles were only for long ago? Have you decided that “magick” is for kids but at some point we have to grow up and realize that it isn’t real? Have you decided that it simply doesn't work?
And those questions lead us to part two.