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The Creed of the Meadow

I have pondered the wisdom of man and savored the warmth of Jesus. And I have come to believe that he lives still and is nearby; that he is as real now as he ever was; that he walks alongside us, his servants, in the unseen meadow of serenity and teaches us the truth of the grand mystery:

That, far away in the distance, beyond the horizon of our ability to comprehend, lies one, single unified explanation; A common source for all, and a force that draws us like a flame toward a purpose greater than ourselves. And it is this ineffable transcendent light which humble people everywhere know as God and we affectionately call Father.

I have pondered the wisdom of man and heard the refined word of my mentor Jesus. And I have come to believe that God's kingdom is here and now and it is the essence of natural reality; for I see it shimmering all around me -- in the intricacies of nature, in the spark of life, and in all that is peaceful, beautiful and good.

It is to this truth and to the way of my Lord Jesus that I pledge my life. Amen

Now, compare ours with the creed of the more typical Christian churches. See the difference?

To the right is The Apostles' Creed. It is an official part of the Catholic church and, with a few denominational tweaks, it neatly sums up for most of us what it means to be a Christian. But many Christians have always found themselves a bit uncomfortable with it. Why is it so emphatic about what is true and what is supposed to have taken place way back when? If you are a little unsure about some of those claims can you no longer claim to be a Christian?

What if you are adamant about having Christian tradition remain an integral and beautiful part of your fabric, yet the rational side you is hesitant to say that something is positively true without studying it more thoroughly? What if you love Jesus with all your heart and believe that he most likely is somehow related to a greater power, but you still need more time to think all of this through before being ready to take that proverbial leap of faith? Does that make you a non-Christian?

I say, do not worry. You are just as much a Christian as the next person--and don't let them tell you otherwise. You just need an intermediate level of Christianity where there are resting places along the path, waypoints where you can stop, catch your breath, and do a little pondering.

This kind of "pre-Christianity" is what I like to call Jesus-inspired. It is more about the humble man from Nazareth, Jesus, and less about the exalted role he is believed to have fulfilled in the Judeo-Christian belief system. And, if you follow that path far enough, you will discover it leads to a kind of Christianity that works intellectually as well as spiritually and is much more exciting than anything you ever learned in Sunday School. For Jesus, scholars now say, is a much more interesting figure with a much broader message than the Apostles' Creed implies.

The early church fathers decided what should be allowed into the canon of the New Testament, and their focus was quite narrow and specific. Everything else, including much about Jesus, his life and his message, they cast onto bonfires as heretical, thus destroying it forever...or nearly. It has only been in modern times that remnants of that fascinating story have begun to resurface.

I invite you to fire up your imagination and come along with us! You are welcome to become a charter member of our online congregation simply by clicking the "NM Online" link above and introducing yourself. I hope we see a lot more of you in the days ahead. Thanks for stopping by.

THE APOSTLES' CREED: I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day He arose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. Amen.

Join Reed in the Meadow

DID YOU KNOW? The Naoi Meadow Way (NM) gets its name from the Gaelic word naoi which is pronounced like nee and actually has a dual meaning: the number nine as well as the OT character Noah -- each of which plays a key role in NM teaching. Noah, of course, was the ultimate steward of nature's critters. That concept of Stewardship appears throughout both testaments and is all about mankind's responsibility to manage the resources of life, which belong to God, and to use them for His glory. Thus, as part of the NM ethic, NMembers take seriously their role as stewards of what is called the Trine of Nature -- beauty, peace and life -- in every imaginable sense of those words.

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