I have never met Jesus in the flesh. I know people who have had spiritual sightings of Jesus and such an experience is an extraordinary gift. I can relate. Though I did not see Jesus, I too have had scientifically inexplicable experiences that promoted my spiritual transformation. I know the truth of the divine connection we share and I recognize that I’ve arrived to Earth at a time when Jesus happens to be a HUGE deal in society. The question of Jesus’ crucifixion is still a sensitive topic in many social circles. Crucifixion or not, we all benefit when his positive image is embraced as a unifying source for healthy spiritual transformation.
My religious experience began at home with my family. The person I loved most raised me to be Christian. I love no other the way I love my mother. A single parent of three, I wanted to do everything I could to accommodate her wishes. However, there came a day when I could acquiesce no longer. My spirit could not be forced into believing anything.
Repeated visits to church only reinforced my discomfort. There was more about our existence I needed to learn. As the Episcopalian church did not resonate with me, I had to find my spiritual truth my way.
Published in 2014, a Barna Group study on 4,495 adults found that 61% of church attendees said they did not gain any significant new insights regarding faith when they last attended…
I didn’t need statistics to know I wasn’t obtaining the insight I needed when I was learning about Jesus at church. The whole setup was problematic for my intelligence. My mind, heart and soul wanted self-understanding. It was time to go.
Ironically, as I journeyed along my spiritual path, I would frequently be reminded of the symbolism of Jesus Christ in healthy and positive ways. The more I participated in fulfilling activity like helping strangers wholeheartedly, sharing spiritual guidance, providing mentorship to outcasts, and spending quality time with family; the more I was reminded of Jesus. Over time, through my commitment to unconditional love I became less attached to the highly politicized nature of his image. He now represents a perfect Love that is always in accordance with the universe. Limitless, timeless, eternal with access to divine healing and wisdom, Jesus symbolizes all that we can be when we achieve self-understanding.
The social climate surrounding Jesus has changed quite dramatically since I have been on Earth. As a child, it was wrong to say Jesus’ name in vain. By the end of high school, we were wearing trucker hats that cheerily read “Jesus is my homeboy”. Now we are witnessing major fallout from current publications related to Jesus. The newest publications confidently call his biblical story into question. Increased awareness has contributed to a consistent decline in the number of regular church goers.
Barna Group’s 2014 data shows overall church attendance has dropped from 43% in 2004 to 36% today.
This dynamic places churches on the defensive. Today, the goal of many churches is to “win souls for Jesus” placing members of the congregation in an unnecessary competition while personal and collective harmony hang in the balance.
Jesus is the figurehead and Millennials are turned off.
59% of Millennials who grew up in the church dropped out at some point
35% of Millennials are anti-church…
The new generation is intuitive. They are seeking both personal and collective harmony. They do not believe they need to go to church to find that which they seek.
Only 2 in 10 Millennials believe church is important…
Like Jesus, many Millennials know we each have a direct connection to the Divine. Many are taking spirituality into their own hands by fostering their connection independently. Through various methods such as yoga, energy work, prayer and meditation the new generation is building community and promoting an inner shift of transcendence.
Like many others, I did not know what to believe with respect to Jesus. I had to find my truth. Now Jesus is my homeboy because I cherish the perfect love that he symbolizes.
The moral of the story: Find yourself and Jesus will find you.