The way I understood the Gospel as a child:
You are a naughty girl.
All naughty children are on a train that goes directly to hell.
If you hop onto the Jesus-train
He will drive you to heaven because he loves you.
[“People get ready, there’s a train-a-coming.
Picking up passengers from coast to coast…”]
The way I understood the Gospel as a teenager:
I don’t know which train I’m on.
People say you can’t be naughty on the train.
If you’re naughty, it’s like getting off the Jesus-train
And getting back on the train to hell.
I know I’m naughty because my conscience tells me so every day.
Nothing I do is ever good enough.
Oh God please let me stay on the train.
The way I understood the Gospel in my 20s:
Apparently I can be naughty on the train.
God will wink at my naughtiness because all he sees is the Jesus-train.
He doesn’t see the real me.
Breathe a sigh of relief.
The way I understand the Gospel in the first year of my 30s:
The train is a myth.
I was not born on a train.
I do not have to swap trains.
I do not have to choose the right train.
My behavior does not keep me on or off
The mystical train to heaven.
It was all in my head.
There is no separation from God.
“On that day you will realize:
That I am in the Father
And You are IN Me
And I am IN You” – John 14:20
I was conceived in Heaven.
I am within God’s womb.
I belong to Him.
When I die – then I will be reborn.
Born free. At home. In heaven.
Where children are not naughty.
Where there is nothing wrong with me.
Where there is no imagined separation.
Only endless love.
“That all of them may be one, Father
Just as you are IN me and I am IN you
May they also be IN us
So that THE WORLD may BELIEVE
That you have sent me
That they may be ONE
As we are ONE
I IN THEM
And you IN me
So that they may be brought to complete UNITY
Then THE WORLD will KNOW
That you sent me
And have LOVED THEM
Even as you have LOVED me” – John 17:21-23