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, January 31, 2016

We are Endowed with Light

Give to the lover every place where a candle
is extinguished, for he is endowed .... with a hundred
thousand lights. "

O darkness
you take yourself so seriously
you think you are so profound
so weighty

with all that is hidden

all that hate and fear
anger and bitterness

but you are nothing
for light comes
and chases away the dark places
the shadow lands

and then those who could not see, can see
and those who were afraid are comforted
then people know the way

our job
all of us
is to bear the light
to carry it into dark places
into places where poverty, and prejudice, and oppression exist
and to dispel the darkness
with generosity, and love, and justice

for we are endowed
with the light of God’s presence
and nothing, if we hold fast to the light
can overcome us

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Your Image of God Creates You!

Your image of God creates you. This is why it is so important that we see God as loving and benevolent and why good theology is still important.
One mistaken image of God that keeps us from receiving grace is the idea that God is a cruel tyrant. People who have been raised in an atmosphere of threats of punishment and promises of reward are programmed to operate with this cheap image of God. They need deep healing, because they are actually attached to a punitive notion of God. Many experienced this foundational frame for reality as children, and it is hard to let go. It gives a kind of sick coherence to their world.
Unfortunately, it's much easier to organize people around fear and hatred than around love. Most people who want to hold onto power view God as vindictive and punitive. Powerful people actually prefer this worldview, because it validates their use of intimidation.
Richard Rohr, Blog January 26,2016

Our image of God creates us

So what does your God look like?
No, don’t start out talking about God!

We can’t start there in this process, for we are too programmed
We spout “belief” without even really thinking about what we say,
what the implications are!

I think we need to start with simple, concrete things

How do I live?
With love, compassion, generosity?
Or in fear, hating and grasping?

Whose voices do I listen to?
What is the message of the people I choose to follow?
Do they speak of equity and justice,
or of fear and exclusion?

Do I identify with people carrying food to the food bank,
or people carrying guns into McDonald's?

How do I see myself?
Do I see myself as embraced by Sacred love,
or judged and prime for punishment?

That, I think, is how we get to our image of God

All too often I find that I preach a God of forgiveness and acceptance
But when I look at how I view myself, I know the vestiges of that
“other God”, who is demanding and punitive, still lingers in my soul

O Sacred One
Create in me an open space
Into which you might come
And reveal yourself
As the God Jesus talked about
And revealed

Friday, January 29, 2016

The Bottom line

The biblical notion of justice, beginning in the Hebrew Scriptures with the Jewish prophets--especially Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Hosea--is quite different. If we read carefully and honestly, we will see that God's justice is restorative. (This term has only been around for about the last twenty-five years as human consciousness has evolved.) In each case, after the prophet chastises the Israelites for their transgressions against Yahweh, the prophet continues by saying, in effect, "And here's what Yahweh will do for you: God will now love you more than ever! God will love you into wholeness. God will pour upon you a gratuitous, unbelievable, unaccountable, irrefutable love that you will finally be unable to resist."
God "punishes" us by loving us more!
It seems to me that the overall message of the Bible is really pretty simple
God never gives up on us
Not when others do
Not when the church does
No when we give up on ourselves
God just keeps covering us with love.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Fat souls

I think you all have fat souls
                        from the movie Pitch perfect

I want a fat soul Lord
Not a gaunt soul

Gollum like
Full of disease

But a fat soul
Obese with sacred presence
Full of abundance
At peace

So large
It can dream
Of embracing
All creation

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

God does not Change

God does not change, but our knowledge of God surely evolves.
                                           Richard Rohr, Blog, January 26,2016

God does not change
and there is one thing that is absolutely true
no matter how screwed up our theology

no matter how screwed up we are
in our thinking about the world

God does not change

we may see God as a divine busboy (or girl)
with nothing better to do that meet our every need

after all, God is our God
and God belongs to us
not us to God

we may see God as an angry and arbitrary parent
ready to pounce
at our least deviation from the divine code
(which we also make up, for the most part)

we sometimes feel that God is far, far away
(which is silly, since God is within us
as close as our heart, as close as our breath!)

we may at times, live in fear of scarcity
worried that there will not be enough
and we all too often live in fear of all who are not
with us, not like us
of all who do not look the same, or believe the same things
as we do

we may judge and ridicule
hate and exclude

but through it all
God is still there
the same yesterday, today, tomorrow

pure love
we do not always understand that
believe that
accept that
feel that

but God is there
waiting to
“love us into wholeness”(Rohr)

waiting to respond
to all our doubt
and fear
all our greed
and our insatiable hunger for power
with more love

with perfect

for God does not change

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Just listen. Just be. Just witness. Just care.

Just listen. Just be. Just witness. Just care.  You don’t have to fix it!
                                           Laura Berman Fortand, The Little Book of Meaning, p. 45

I admit it
I almost always want to fix “it”

Whatever it is.

A hurt feeling
A fragmented faith
A damaged relationship
An unquiet mind

Or just a simple matter of logistics

It doesn’t matter what the problem is,
It seems there is a side of me
That thinks it is my job to fix it.

To sooth the feeling
Restore the faith
Repair the relationship
Ease the mind

Or find an easier better way to do things

As if !

I can only fix myself
And even that is questionable
And even if I could fix others (I can’t)

Most of the time it is really up to them
And the Sacred One

No, if I really want to help
It is generally better to
Just listen. Just be. Just witness. Just care