Given By Rev. Madison Shockley March 11 , 2018

Today’s reading comes from the gospel of Thomas. It is one of the earlier Christian documents but was not discovered until 1945. We had only hints of its existence.  Thomas traveled to the east and settled in the area of Edessa where he wrote a collection of sayings. This area was outside the influence of the Roman Empire. Most Christian writings in the official canon were written within the Roman Empire.  The Gospel of Thomas is not part of the official canon. The early Christians who used this gospel did not face death or serious persecution due to their faith.  They did not spend time meditating on Jesus’s death. They just concentrated on Jesus’s teachings. There, a Christian wanted only to follow the wisdom of Jesus, escape the shallowness of a worldly life, and find dignity and value as a child of God. This message resonates with us today. There is more to life than just getting things or going through the motions of life. Thomas wrote about living wisely and knowing thyself. According to Thomas, in order to be fit for the Kingdom of God, we must return to the original androgyny of our creation from the story of Genesis.  The creation story takes on a different meaning concerning gender. The ultimate expression of humanity was in the oneness, not the duality. God possessed all the necessary qualities to be a creator God. A opposite sex deity was not necessary. All members of Thomas’s community were equal. There was not gender inequality or stereotypes. The ancient world was typically a patriarchal society. In Edessa, there was no such discrimination. Let us be that place where all followers can find value in their lives and know themselves for who they truly are, a child of God.