We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Christians believe, as I understand it, that Jesus was the "son" of God, "son" being used figuratively to describe a human-like incarnation of the deity which was made manifest by the resurrection and other remarkable phenomena.
Don't ask me to explain the Trinity - it's a mystery to me.
To non-believers, it sounds like science fiction, but even non-believers and Doubting Thomases have no doubt that Jesus (the Latinized version of Yeshua, Joshua) was an inspired and spiritually revolutionary rabbi who has been rocking the world since he lived.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you....
"You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?"
I'm often put in mind of what we read in The Book of Dylan:
"We heard the Sermon on the Mount and I knew it was too complex
It didn’t amount to anything more than what the broken glass reflects
When you bite off more than you can chew you pay the penalty
Somebody’s got to tell the tale, I guess it must be up to me...."
God in man made manifest. Jesus was fully divine and fully human.
Just as He is really present in the Eucharist. We eat His flesh and drink His blood. That's the Sacrament. None of this mealy-mouthed nonsense about "take and eat in remembrance" that low churches spout. He is truly present in the Mass, just as God was truly present in the form of the baby Jesus. The miracle of God'sinfinite power and love contained for a time in the mundane and the material. Because we miserable sinners in our spiritual dunce's caps can get it that way. Supreme Beings and abstractions never saved a tormented soul yet
Excuse above comment if it sounds argumentative.... A trying Christmas actually when these words from the Beatitudes are an enormous comfort.
I returned to my old church this month after years away and nearly wept hearing the Book of Common Prayer again, after wincing at the revolting free form protestant evangelical schlock and praise songs in the church I've attended the last decade (great congregation, tho, better Christians than I'll ever be).
Back in the home parish on Xmas Eve, so grateful for the Book of Common Prayer, and for a church where there is respect for tradition and church authority, even for something as basic as following the Lectionary, and where things are not simply at the whim of a narcissistic minister or whatever each person thinks is the correct interpretation.
In middle age, I've grown less enthusiastic about the Pilgrim stance of my ancestors. The problem with over-emphasizing "Sola Scriptura" and the notion that you don't need an intermediary between the people and God is that you end up with people thinking either that any and all theories about God are equally valid (hogwash) or else you leave congregations vulnerable to being dominated by charismatic and authoritarian ministers with no checks and balances.