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

Monday, June 27, 2016

Thoughts on faith

Christianity is at its best when it is peculiar, marginalized, suffering, and it is at its worst when it is popular, credible, triumphal, and powerful.”
― Shane Claiborne, Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals

I wondered if there were other restless people asking the question with me: What if Jesus meant the stuff he said?”
― Shane Claiborne

I have not lost my faith in the Sacred
I use Sacred rather than God because we have done such terrible things to God
Creating God in our own image, and losing sight
Of this amazing reality that is love
And is in us


I have not lost my faith
But I sometimes struggle with “the faith”
As it is taught, and lived out
Or rather not lived out
By, in particular, the American church

It seems as if the church has sold out
Pushing what sells,
what is appealing,
and offers us benefits (not sacrifice).

Jesus came to reveal Sacred nature to us
And to show us what it looks like when the Sacred
Really comes alive in a person
Becomes so powerful, so dominant
That the Sacred can no longer be separated from the “human”

What it looked like in Jesus
was love, compassion

It also looked like
Giving one’s self away
for the sake of all those
the world would reject
the oppressed and the marginalized

the poor
the addicted
the person whose skin color is different
whose creed is different
whose sexual orientation is different.

Giving one’s self away so that love might flourish
And hate might die

It is a peculiar way
This path taught by Jesus
It violates our logic
It runs counter to the values of our culture

I do not live it very well
I wish I lived it better
But I know what it looks like,
And I know what it does not look like

and thus my dilemma, as a name I would embrace

“Christian”, becomes almost an embarrassment

With its hate, and anger, its intolerance, and exclusion
Its punitive, excluding God

And its addiction to success, and power, and wealth

But I will embrace the name
And seek to think in a way
Live in a way
Accept in a way
Include in a way
Love in a way

That brings honor to the Sacred One who is love
And the humble man, who lived singing love
And died singing love
And was raised, singing love

I live, caught between flesh and spirit.
But even though I will be
a person who both succeeds and fails
is good, and bad
both wounds and heals
loves and hates

I know I can trust in Sacred Love
(I call it grace)

And thus I will keep living
Keep trying
Keep hoping

Knowing that Jesus meant what he said about servanthood
And meant what he said about

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