Many years ago country music singer Tom T. Hall sang a song entitled “Me and Jesus.” Some of the lyrics are as follows: “Me and Jesus, got our own thing goin’, me and Jesus, got it all worked out. Me and Jesus, got our own thing goin’. We don’t need anybody to tell us what it’s all about.” In a simple way, these words express a personal faith depending on ones’ own relationship with God, rather that the dictations of others. It’s a down to earth witness to faith unencumbered by complicated theology and doctrine, which must be believed in certain “correct” ways. The words contain a whole lot of simple yet profound truth. The song is one way of saying, “Me and God got our own thing goin’. The tune is cute too.
In Psalm 73:23-26 the Psalmist, in conversation with God, also uses personal words to describe the same thing: “Nevertheless I am continually with you…you guide me with your counsel….you will receive me with honor…Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire other than you.” Me and God got our own thing goin’. Please pardon the bad grammar, but it makes the point. Actually there are several points: (1) We are with God whether we realize it or not. (2) Guidance is ours in a lifestyle of prayerfulness. (3) There is acceptance from God. (4) Awareness of Divine presence is the one great hunger of our beings and, once discovered, all lesser desires mysteriously find their fulfillment in this one great yearning. We live from the inside out so that others may catch the aroma of a great love, God’s love.
There is one addition I’d like to make to these simple faith lyrics. They tell us “we don’t need anybody to tell what it’s all about.” That’s true enough. Yet we do need others with whom to share and live such faith. When there is real community, God is also discovered in the lives of others. Then faith becomes, not only a “me and God” thing, but an us and God thing. At its best the spiritual life is personal but not private, though there is a private dimension to faith. That life is also open and inclusive, never closed and exclusive. The whole thing is about God and you and me, that is, us. In Christian circles this is called “The Body of Christ” which, by the way, is not necessarily the same as the institutional church, yet may reside in and live from the organized version. That is, of course, the hope and ideal. Ultimately Christ described it very simply as “where two or three gathered together” in the Divine name.
Maybe we just need to write a new song with words something like these: “Us and God (pardon the grammar again) got our own thing goin’, and we need each other to discover what it’s all about.” Just a thought.