Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Tuesday, November 7, 2017


“Lovers must not, like usurers, live for themselves alone. They must finally turn from their gaze at one another back toward the community. If they had only themselves to consider, lovers would not need to marry, but they must think of others and of other things. They say their vows to the community as much as to one another, and the community gathers around them to hear and to wish them well, on their behalf and its own. It gathers around them because it understands how necessary, how joyful, and how fearful this joining is. These lovers, pledging themselves to one another "until death," are giving themselves away, and they are joined by this as no law or contract could join them. Lovers, then, "die" into their union with one another as a soul "dies" into its union with God. And so here, at the very heart of community life, we find not something to sell as in the public market but this momentous giving. If the community cannot protect this giving, it can protect nothing...”
                                            Wendell Berry, Sex, Economy, Freedom, and Community: Eight Essays

trudging through the mud alone
as my boots squelched in the sodden earth
and happy dog played

it hit me
we have it all wrong
at least many of us do

we live in a culture that is saturated with self
everything is about “me”
my safety, my power, my affluence, my success

our relationship to the sacred is about my, personal, individual, relationship with the Sacred
and the focus is on what my faith can offer me.  Fire insurance, hope, affluence, power

our work is often about personal success, title, corner offices

we measure our success as a person on our success as an individual

but this focus on the individual counters almost everything we learn from
most great faiths

I know Christianity the best, and if you think about it,
The faith of the Bible is not about the individual
It s about a people
The people of God

Biblically God rarely deals with individuals
He deals with cities, with tribes, with nations
They make it, or fail to make it, not one by one, but together

The people of God leave Egypt as a people
They wander through the desert for 40 years, as a people
They enter the promised land as a people
They success and fail as a people
They go into exile as a people, and return the same way

And when Jesus comes along….
He doesn’t say “salvation is like”
He says, “the kingdom of God is like”

We are at out best
And we are in the flow of sacred purpose
When we are thinking in terms of community

When the goal is not personal salvation
But the salvation of all creation
And all those within that creation

Things are different
We are different

So here is to community
Here is to a communal faith that seeks to bring “salvation”, God’s love and grace to all
Here is to community based primary care
And community based mental health

Here is to the task, not of creating power and affluence for myself,
But the task of working to ensure
That no one is left behind
That all have healthcare
All have addiction treatment
All have food, and clothes, and housing

For unless we die into each other
We will never really

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