In this Sunday’s sermon we will look at Jesus’ statement, “those who seek to save their souls will lose them.” The saying flies in the face of those traditional Christian theologies that claim our business is saving souls. Obviously Jesus didn’t see things quite that way. I was in a hurry when I put this list of world scripture readings together. I would like to add a Jewish and non-theist quote as well. I hope they will widen our mental contexts to hear what Jesus is saying. As always, he’s not talking about religion. He’s talking about life. I thought some of you might enjoy reading the various scriptures.
Christian Matthew 6:24-25 (Inclusive Bible)
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, they must deny themselves, and take up their cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save their life will lose it; but whoever loses their life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit those who gain the whole world and lose their soul? Or what will someone give in exchange for their soul?
Buddism Diamon Sutra
Subhuti, what do you think? Does a holy one say internally, ‘I have obtained Perfective Enlightenment?’ Subhuti replied, “No, World-honored One… If a holy one of Perfective Enlightenment said, ‘Such am I, he or she would necessarily partake of the idea of an ego-identity, a personality, a being, a separated individuality.”
Hinduism Srimad Bhagavatam
Shun all pride and jealousy. Give up all idea of “me” and “mine”… As long as there is consciousness of diversity and not of unity in the Self, people ignorantly think of themselves as separate beings, as the “doer” of actions and the “experiencer” of effects. They remain subject to birth and death, know happiness and misery, are bound by their own deeds, good or bad.
Just as the wave cannot exist for itself, but is ever a part of the heaving surface of the ocean, so must I never live my life for itself, but always in the experience which is going on around me.
Taoism Tao Te Ching
One who tiptoes cannot stand;
One who strides cannot walk.
One who shows himself/herself is not conspicuous;
One who considers himself/herself right is not illustrious;
One who brags will have no merit;
One who boasts will not endure.
From the point of view of the Way, these are like “excessive food and useless excrescences”
Which all creatures detest.
One who has the Way does not abide in them.