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

Sunday, August 14, 2022

People! Wake up

It’s prophecy time

the flyer says


come and let us tell you what an angry and retributive God

has in store for this sinful world

and let us scare the hell out of you…


It’s prophecy time

come to the “prophecy center”



it’s a good thing


when it is really prophecy


not when it someone telling you

what a prophet from long ago was telling

people from long ago

about the possible consequences of their actions

and challenging them to change


not when it is someone pointing to the “signs of the time”

Bible style

and suggesting that those signs

(meant to apply to ancient Rome) are happening “now”

and we’d better pay up our tithes

and answer that altar call

or burn


but when it is someone proclaiming


“Hear!  Hear O Children of God!”

that the same errors of yesteryear

are the same errors of today

and we really ought to change


Aquinas (in his Commentary of Jeremiah) suggests that a

“prophet has been consecrated to overturn, root up, destroy,

and again to build and renew”


a prophet is to stand up to injustice

and stand up for justice

and bring healing


a prophet is about transformation

not about scaring people into

buying insurance against an inevitable future

but about moving people into changing the future


prophets are people who must see

see what is wrong

prophets are people who must speak

who must, in whatever way they can

put a mirror in front of people and say

“This is us”


a prophet is a person who helps other people see

what he or she sees

that which is hidden

that which is forgotten

that which is denied


and a prophet says

because we are greedy

because we abuse power

because we neglect the poor

because we oppress

because we pillage and plunder



this is what will happen

this is what is likely to happen




unless we see

unless we repent

unless we change

unless we turn to God

not in fear but in hope


and live life a different way


a prophet is less about what God is going to do to us

and more about what we are going to do to ourselves


it is not that God is unimportant

for in God, in Sacred, in Love

we find the power to change


but we cannot, we will not change

what we do not see


so let us hear it for the prophets

for Isaiah, and Amos

Micah, and Mary, and Elizabeth

for Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela

for Sister Chittister, and Shawn Clairborne

(and definitely not for Enlow, Locke, and Kerr)


let us hear it for the prophets

those who see

and stand

and speak

those who help us see what is wrong

challenge us to be better

and connect us with the Power

to change

Wednesday, August 10, 2022



There are many ways in which we taste Nothingness and we will consider some of them here:

Metaphysical nothingness of non-being or of our pre-existence.

Psychological nothingness of feeling oneself to be a nobody or forgotten or utterly ignored.

Political nothingness of being subjected to less than human circumstances by decisions of the powerful decision-makers.

Being a woman in a patriarchal world.

Being a person of color in a world where white supremacy reigns.

Being a gay or trans person in a world of homophobia and heterosexism.

Being poor or homeless when possessions are the test of a human being.

          Matthew Fox, Daily Meditations 8/10/22




the sun may grudgingly arise

breaking through the clouds for a moment of color


but then all becomes

50 shades of gray


and the light is subsumed by the darkness


and we are left with nothing

we feel it

we taste it

it is bitter bile in our stomachs

it is the tightness in our chests

it is a hundred TVs, all tuned to different channels

chattering in our heads



nothing makes sense

the poor championing those who oppress them

freedom fighters fighting against freedom

truth seekers trusting liars


this is a world that makes us nothing

and leaves us stumbling in the dark

reaching out for someone anyway

lashing at everyone


this is a world that sucks us dry and leaves our souls empty

and leaves us vulnerable

to the liars, the predators, the manipulators, the abusers


when we taste our nothingness

hate and fear rule us

control us

shape us


we react, blindly, mindlessly (or with ideologically impaired minds)

we cheer a Supreme Court that stands for nothing (other than power and wealth)

we blindly follow a narcissist

we enable (and even worship) our abusers

or we live hopelessly

believing that nothing will ever be right again


we are defined by nothingness

women in patriarchal darkness

people of color in the darkness of white supremacy

peacemakers in a world dominated by guns and violence

LGBTQI+++ in a world that denies their humanity

followers of Jesus in the darkness of hate-filled Churchianity




but there is something

there is a reality, a power, a Love

that overcomes the darkness


that same something, someone

Jesus talked about, again and again in the dwindling light

of the upper room

as the darkness encroached

and all would soon become



there is that Love

we can trust

trust to be with us

trust to stay with us

trust to work with us

trust to empower us

trust to help us through the darkness


to something

beautiful and powerful






to Love


the world may try to make us nothing

but if we trust in love

we are quite something!



The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not overcome it (John 1)

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Just sit

Just sit there right now

Don’t do a thing

Just rest


For your separation from God

Is the hardest work in this world

          Hafiz (ala Landinsky) The Subject Tonight is Love



The morning sky

Filled with clouds and rain and sun

Shines with all the colors of the rainbow


God laughing

at our pitiful attempts

to light up the sky to celebrate







We try so hard

don’t we?

we shoot off rockets

drink our beer

fire up the BBQ

sing our patriotic songs


and are left only with empty souls

and terrorized dogs


We try so hard, we human creatures

doing the wrong things!


God must shake the divine head in bewilderment at

our denseness


we work to gain power

when we have been called to cede power

and become servants


we work so hard to control

when we have been told to set the prisoners free


we work so hard at hating

when we have been told to love


we work so hard at killing

when we have been told to turn our guns into garden tools


we work so hard at forcing people to

believe and act the way we want

when we have been told that people must freely choose

and only loving presence can truly transform


we work so hard at seeking advantage and privilege

when we have been told that we need to seek justice


we work so hard

at our separation from God


And so the divine, frustrated I am sure, says

“I hate, I despise your festivals, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.

Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings,

Even though you shoot fireworks into the sky

Even though you invoke my name

and wrap the cross in your flag


it will all be empty


Take away from me the noise of your songs;

I will not listen to your patriotic songs

Where you demand I bless you.  (apologies to Amos)


Instead, stop









Resisting divine love is hard work

The hardest work in the world


Just sit there right now

Don’t do a thing

Just rest


And let God love you

Soak up forgiveness, compassion, generosity, acceptance

Look at the rainbow

And let all the colors of love fill your soul


And then do justice

and to live kindness

and walk humbly with God  (Micah)