Welcome

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



Wednesday, May 5, 2021

end to begin

 

Yearning for a new way will not produce it. Only ending the old way can do that. You cannot hold onto the old all the while declaring that you want something new. The old will defy the new; the old will deny the new; the old will decry the new. There is only one way to bring in the new. You must make room for it.

                     Neale Donald Walsch, Facebook post, July 22, 2014

 _______________________________

 

I want

I want

I

 

funny how that works

as we wonder through life

yearning all too often for that we do not have

 

suffering it has been said

is the gap

the distance between what we think

we want and need

and what we have

 

and we live all too often in the suffering gap

yearning

struggling to close that gap

 

to grab more power

more wealth

to grab more peace!

more love

 

I know!  I’ve been there

I am there

in that yearning place

 

but slowly I have learned,

(I do learn)

to value the place I am in

and the things I have

touched and experience

 

to quiet to yearnings for a moment

and rejoice in the hoot of an owl in the morning

the first golden rays of the sun

the wealth (of so many kinds) I have enjoyed

including the people

 

those precious souls

who inhabit my life and my heart

 

and I have also learned

to let go of the place that I am in

knowing that with Sacred sway

there is always something new

 

it is no accident the Spirit came as wind and fire

blowing like dust in the wind

searing us and driving us into new places

 

out of my darkest moments

have come great gifts

out of painful loss

has come the freedom to start again

and again

 

even this day, as I sit ensconced in my oldness

the Sacred is asking me to make room

to let go

of my fear,

my need for comfort

my old visions and dreams

my old agendas,

so there is room for the new

 

for there is something new awaiting

there always is

 

if I can just let go

and make a little room

 


Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Our own worst enemies

What is there to say

if God is for us, who can be against us

 

If God is for us, who can be against us?

The one who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—

how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?

 

It is God who justifies.

Who then is the one who condemns?  (Romans 8)

 

No one.

 

No one

No one

 

 And yet

 

We struggle

we can be so toxic

with our guns

with our right to NOT wear masks

with our freedom

and our rabid patriotism

 

what is there to say

we are our own worst enemies

while struggling so hard to protect ourselves

and yes

protect God

 

we double down on everything

that is not God

on hate

domination

greed

power

coercion

death

 

we do it in the name of God

we do it in the name of patriotism

we justify it

embrace it

 

and yet

 

we are dead wrong

 

what can we say

if God is for us

and God is for us

yet we act as if that is not true

 

as if WE are the guardians of faith

as if WE must keep things pure

as if WE must stand up for God

 

really?

 

God does not need our help

God needs for us not to get in the way

with our hate

our judgement

our rituals

our ideology

our theology

 

God is for us!

We can love

we can forgive

we can give

we be kind

 

because God is

and God is Love

 and God is enough

 

 


Monday, May 3, 2021

There are two paths

Retribution

it is a very human thing

it is as American as apple pie

 

retribution goes along with domination

it oozes out of the belief

that it is “all about me”

 

it is a by-product of toxic individualism

 

when our world view is based on domination

and the idea that the one with the most power

is the person with the most worth

 

when we believe that nothing should impinge

on our right to do what we want to do

when we want to do it

on our right to impose our values, our beliefs, our “way” on others

 

then people thwarting our will is unacceptable

whether we be a nation

a church

a race

or even an individual

 

and the only way to answer such presumptuous challenges to our power

is to use our power to crush and control

 

this way of living started early!

 

enter Cain who eradicated Able

who dare compete for “God’s favor”

 

it continues

enter politicians who, when people threaten their power

double down on repression (think voter suppression)

or even on retribution (think the GOP threatening companies who oppose voter suppression)

 

it is interesting that such brutality

is often done in the name of God

God becomes the excuse for human cruelty

 

enter the inquisition

enter the Salem witch trials

enter the KKK

 

enter the right wing American church

 

enter all those who tell people God is going to punish them

with eternal conscious torment because of their beliefs

their color

their ideology

their sexual orientation

 

people of retribution have a God of retribution

 

contrary to what some may believe (RC Spoul Jr)

God did not create sin so God would have an excuse

to exercise God’s beautiful wrath

 

God is not a God of retribution

God is a God of reconciliation, and restoration

God is a God of Love

 

how do we know?

God’s self revelation

 

enter creation

enter the manger

enter the cross

 

enter Paul, struck blind with the enormity of his error

his retribution actions

 

but restored, empower

and commissioned

 

there are moments, yes

when I long for retribution

there are more moments when I subtly buy into

“the American way”

and the myth of power and domination and wealth

 

but each day I struggle to find that other way

that way that led to the cross

that way of humility and service

 

as Paul, the restored and forgiven on implores

through love become slaves to one another. For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” If, however, you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. (Gal 5)

 

it seems we have a choice

we can go the way of domination

we can use brutal force to impose our will

we can suppress and oppress others

we can manipulate the system to make ourselves rich (and others poor)

we can walk around with our guns and intimidate and coerce

 

or we can walk through our day

noticing others

thinking of others

loving others

 

and lifting others up

 

There are two paths before us; we may take only one path (Matthew 7)