The Jefferson Bible

One book I read on my trip was The Jefferson Bible, or The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth as it is formally titled. Jefferson attempted to distill the message of Jesus into the most simple principles of his ministry feeling that had been corrupted by it's handlers. It was an effort to, as he said, separate the "diamonds from the dung." I found it to be very similar to the views I held for myself. A call to eschew riches, notoriety, and temporal passions - to love your neighbor and be humble. To forgive at every opportunity and and repent at every transgression. That God's forgiveness and mercy are unending and so should ours be towards our neighbors. That we should not be caught in the worries of everyday life for we have no ultimate control over its outcome. Interestingly, Jefferson omits the resurrection and many of the other supernatural claims in the gospels which in many ways are central to modern Christianity. I think that I need to consider my own views on these issues more, but the basic framework for how I should conduct my life is intact.
After reading more of the Bible in the following days, the faith I have been looking for, was simply waiting on the pages waiting to be read with fresh eyes. I found the God of Abraham to be generous and reasonable. One who was willing to provide mercy for those who seek him. He is however unwilling to contend with those who have been totally given over to selfish pursuits. I found the calm and loving voice of 1 Peter and 1 John to be exactly what I sought when I began attending the UU - a more liberal, loving faith, free of the dogma of my southern Baptist roots.