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 24, 2014

What kind of God do we have?

We hear the stories
drifting out of the place of strife
of black garbed men
waving flags of war and hate


all in the name of their religion

and we are horrified
that “those muslims” could behave that way
killing Christians
killing each other

we are horrified
and righteously share our outrage

and yet how much violence
have people wrought in the name of God?

in Iraq, yes
and Iran and Afghanistan

but let it us not forget the centuries
of violence and death
in Israel
in Ireland
in Europe
In America

my Mennonite ancestors were driven from place to place
their lands stolen
their lives taken
by other Christians

can we forget the inquisition?
can we forget how Christians in America treated the first people
in America?

can we ignore the gay person in Africa
killed by Christians who consider them evil?

there is something wrong with our idea of God
if it leads us to violence and hate
we violate the very nature of the Sacred when we
exclude and destroy

I know that through the ages
people have framed God as an angry tribal King
who blesses those who are loved, and included in the tribe
and curses all other
in this world and the next

but if our God is for us
and not them
If our idea of the sacred puts a limit on
sacred love
if our idea of the divine
moves us to hate and violence

there is something wrong
with our idea of God

I believe in the Sacred One
who made the majestic peaks I love
who created the tapestry of flowers that bless the earth
who moves the birds to sing
a causes the fawn to dance through the grass

I believe in the God manifest
in a new born child
in lovers holding hands
in acts of compassion
and in forgiveness

can the God who made this world
the God who rejoices in children
the God who was most clearly present in this world
in the person of Jesus Christ

be the God of ISIS?
the God of those Christians who hate and exclude?
the God of those who preach hate, and live hate?

O Sacred one
reveal who you really are
in our hearts, in our lives

help us to be those
through whom your true nature
is revealed

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