Father Richard Rohr’s new book, Jesus’ Alternative Plan:The Sermon on the Mount, has me in deep thought and I’m only a few pages into it. He starts the book talking about the false sacred versus the the true sacred (Christ). It was this statement that really stuck with me:
”The false sacred can be spotted because it is always self-serving and other destroying…The insecure and false self seems to need an enemy to scapegoat so that it can feel superior and saved. False gods, by definition, must be appeased. The true God needs nothing. The true God invites us into an unthinkable communion (p. 16).”
False gods must be appeased and the True God needs nothing. Ugh. I spend a significant amount of time appeasing the false gods in my life. I feed power with worry and fear. I feed judgement with my need to always be right. I feed dogma by assuming I have it all figured out.
12-13 Jesus, overhearing, shot back, “Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? Go figure out what this Scripture means: ‘I’m after mercy, not religion.’ I’m here to invite outsiders, not coddle insiders.” (Matthew 9:12-13 MSG).
This scripture strikes a chord. I tend to focus on me, my needs, my wants. Jesus reminds over and over that He came for the least and the lost. I worry about protecting me. I stress over maintaining my persona. I verbally beat myself up if I so much as think I let someone down. I am so focused on the false sacred that I forget that it is not about me.
Does God care about me and my circumstances? Yes, which means my focus should not be one me. He has that covered. I should be focused on Him. When I do that, I see the lost and the least. I can offer light to the broken. When I am focused on me, I live in worry and fear not in love and grace.
One chapter in and I’m wrestling and reflecting. I think that’s a good sign?? This book could take some time to get through and it’s likely that I’ll be writing more about it.
How about you? What falls in your false sacred category? We all have one. Are you more focused on the false or true sacred (Christ)? Share your experience here and breathe life and bring hope to others.