Joy to the world! The Lord is come.
Let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And heaven and nature sing!
And heaven and nature sing!
And heaven, and heaven and nature sing!
– Isaac Watts (1674-1748), from “Joy to the World” (1719)

As I woke up last Sunday morning, my Thomas said loudly and clearly in my mind, “Hear O Israel, The Lord Our God is One God.” It was the ancient Hebrew invocation, the beautiful call to prayer of the world’s first true monotheists. After we had spent most of that previous week working through Jesus’s teachings about God and religions for His website, and coming at last to the stunning understanding that Jesus had come to abolish religions altogether; and then after we had spent our nighttime work-time polishing and watching our post on the Trinity go live; and by the time I had finished dressing for our walk on a bright but almost-freezing morning that was unusually cold for Austin:  by then all the bits that our many revelations of the previous week had shaken loose had fallen into place in my mind. Omigod. Now I understood why it was so important that Jesus be born a Jew, and why He had thought it was essential that He concentrate on teaching just the Jews. Now I understood why Jesus considered it to be crucial that in order for His teachings to be properly followed, they were going to need their own website, and why they would have to be taken way back and followed all over again right from the beginning. I thought that at last I understood everything. Joy to the World, indeed!!

Far from having been born to free us from our sins, Jesus had been born to free us altogether from religions. And my sweet Thomas was smiling now. I had been fighting this ultimate conclusion so hard! But I was finally getting it. Religions had been among humankind’s earliest inventions, our necessary comfort in the lonely dark as our fully human minds were developing. But just as we eventually outgrew using stone tools that we had learned to chip to create an edge, so we also finally outgrew the need to relate to God by means of religions. And so Jesus had come at last as God’s emissary to the world’s first true monotheists, to teach them how they could better relate to God individually and internally.

And then on Monday morning it first occurred to me that I had not heard from Jesus in months. Not since September, I thought. Or perhaps not even since August. I was trying to produce the content that we had laid out for His website. But instead, what I was getting from Him through Thomas was different from the master plan. It was beautiful, though. I thought it might even be better than our original plan. I was sending it to Craig Hogan, whose design team was putting the website together, and Craig was sufficiently confused by what he was getting that on last Monday afternoon he sent me the website’s prototype again. And when I saw that prototype for the first time since September, I sat and looked at it. We had first begun to talk about this website last spring, when had been our focus, and Jesus had been telling us that He didn’t want His website to go live until next spring. And now I realized what Jesus’s problem might be.

So then on Monday night I had what I told my husband on Tuesday with a giggle had been “a come-to-Jesus meeting” with Jesus. I could laugh about it, because although Thomas wouldn’t let me remember the details of that meeting, I felt relieved to have the sense that it had gone well. I had needed to request a meeting with Jesus, because He never would have called me on the carpet Himself. But it was clear to me as soon as I saw it again that the prototype for the website must have upset Him. And we had to fix this right away!

Discarnate beings are subtly different from us in some ways, and that is true even of Beings at the highest levels. For one thing, they seem to think more literally in relation to earth matters than we do. And there had been a lot of me on that prototype website as its narrator and resident expert, so my first thought was that all of me should be removed. But when I woke up on Tuesday morning with crib notes from our meeting in my mind, I found that none of that had bothered Jesus. No, people would need a person living on earth to relate to, and He considered me to be a good choice. But as I had suspected, Jesus had been very much bothered by that prototype website, and what had bothered Him had been that they had included a large Bible just as casual decor, and also there had been that immensely horrifying word, “Christian.” So then, Jesus had seen what was supposed to be His own website as instead hexed and condemned to become just one more Christian website, and lumped together with everything else on earth that is Christian and only carries His name. So at that point He had mentally turned off on our project altogether.

People think of Jesus as the founder of Christianity, but Jesus the Man has had nothing to do with Christianity. Three hundred years after Jesus’s death, the Romans under Constantine appropriated Jesus’s name and destroyed His then-thriving spiritual movement, and they created from its ashes a religion to be used for their own purposes. Their religion is not Jesus’s religion. Even now, He doesn’t seem to take any proprietary pride in Christianity, although He does dearly love all the Christian people. And now, as the religion wanes, Jesus wants to resurrect His own spiritual movement from before the Roman Emperor Constantine stole it away, which He certainly has a right to do. But He wants to resurrect it from before there ever was a Christianity! And He cannot see why people find it hard to think of Him as just Himself alone, without the Christian religion attached to Him. Even I find that hard to do, so I can see why most people are going to find doing it to be almost impossible.

Thomas has been helping me to create the materials for Jesus’s website. We use the same sort of hybrid channeling process by which we produce these posts each week: I have the hands so I do the research and the writing, but a lot of the time he steps in and adds his thoughts and sometimes he even works the fingers. It makes for a very efficient collaboration. And Thomas knows Jesus a lot better than I do, so when it comes down to drawing some ultimate conclusions, Thomas has to do that. For example, I can see that he is right, and I can see how he gets there, but without his backup I could not alone come right out and say that Jesus was sent by God to abolish the very concept of religions and teach us to relate to God internally. For me alone, that is several bridges too far! In part, because the implications of even saying the words are so tremendous. I mean, it is one thing to separate Jesus from Christianity and tell people that Jesus is independent and we can relate to Jesus independently and that is what He wants from us now. But, God too? Give up on religions altogether, knowing that God is independently real and you can relate to God in your deepest heart at every moment, and God will hear and answer you?   

Jesus did in fact say, however, that we should pray to God directly. Naturally they don’t talk about this much in the churches, but there has never been anyone harder on religions and the clergy than our wonderful and much-beloved Master Jesus. That sweet and gentle soul called the clergy of His day knaves and hypocrites, and He told people simply to pray without them. He said, “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.  But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you” (MT 6:5-6). In fact, Jesus seems for most of His ministry on earth to have taught and prayed outdoors, rather than in any house of worship. Prior to His crucifixion, Jesus took His disciples to pray with Him, again outdoors, in the Garden of Gethsemane.

So really, all that Jesus had needed from me on Monday night was my fresh assurance that for the rest of my earthly life I would work for Him and never for Christianity. When I asked Him if He wanted changes to His prototype website, it turned out that He had thought about it, and He wanted a couple of changes that matched what Thomas and I had already been writing. He also told me – and I thought this was cute – that He wanted His website to look the way His personal website would have looked in the year 28 CE. Otherwise, He told me that all is well and all of our understandings are right.

I don’t know how amazing this feels to you, but I consider it to be news that rocks the world.

We have just now learned that Jesus came to earth two thousand years ago to teach the world’s first true monotheists how to get past the need for religions altogether, and how to relate to God individually and internally. Religions were a temporary and primitive stage of human spiritual development that should have ended two thousand years ago! Perhaps another Omigod might be appropriate here? And we are learning this on Christmas morning? This was also why Jesus was so obsessed with bringing the kingdom of God on earth. This was what all of that was about! The Lord’s Prayer itself makes as its most prominent plea the call for God to reign on earth: “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (MT 6:10). And this is also why Jesus insists that the kingdom of God will be internal. He says, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs that can be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is within you” (LK 17:20-22). And as the kingdom of God overspreads the earth, we will at last joyfully stop being cringing creatures controlled by fears instilled in us by Pharisees and Sadducees – or, today, by Calvinist ministers and Catholic priests – and begin to be genuinely spiritual beings who are always in intimate contact with God!

You can clearly see this process beginning in the Gospels. Jesus is, even today, the most charismatic Man you can imagine, and soon crowds were following Him wherever He went. The Gospels tell us that He was “speaking to them about the kingdom of God, and curing those who had need of healing” (see e.g. LK 9:11). He soon began to send out emissaries to preach the kingdom of God, telling them, “Whatever city you enter and they receive you, eat what is served to you; and heal those in it who are sick, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you’” (LK 10:8-9). Or, “Whatever city you enter and they do not receive you, go out into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your city which clings to our feet we wipe off in protest against you; yet know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’ I say to you, it will be more tolerable on that day for Sodom than for that city’” (LK 10:11).

Following His resurrection, Jesus gave to His disciples what is now called the Great Commission when He said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, …  teaching them to follow all that I commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (MT 28:19-20). And so it was very well begun! Jesus’s nascent movement had millions of followers when Constantine destroyed it three hundred years later.

Jesus is indeed our Savior! He came to save this world from ignorance! And a two-thousand-year setback means nothing to Him now. Please, my dear friends, let’s all aid Him in this. We know now that Jesus came to open our hearts to a much deeper relationship with God. And we have just received the greatest gift of our lives.

Joy to the world! The Savior reigns.
Let men their songs employ.
While fields and floods,
Rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy!
Repeat the sounding joy!
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy!
– Isaac Watts (1674-1748), from “Joy to the World” (1719)