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

Saturday, October 6, 2018

We belong

“The weaponization of belonging is one of the most "anti-christ" dynamics I have ever encountered.”
 Jamie Arpin-Ricci

We can argue a lot about right and wrong
We can argue about what it means to live a good life,
or if you are a person of faith, a “godly” life.

We can be on opposite sides of a million issues
both believing that we are on “God’s side” (or standing with Jesus)

The honest truth is
We are just human, and all of our interpretations and beliefs
Are those of humans

And at our most certain we probably should still conclude with,
“but I ‘might be wrong”

But there is one thing I believe is at the heart of a spiritual life
One thing at the heart of the way taught by Jesus


Jesus welcomed everyone
He welcomed the “least of these”
Vulnerable children
Tax collectors
Uppity Women (according to that culture)

He welcomed the power brokers and the super religious
The Pharisees, the Sadducees

He even, at some level welcomed Herod

God is about inclusion, about embrace
He held the little children in his arms
He helped Zacchaeus down from a tree
He lifted up the woman caught in adultery from the dust

Always embracing
Always lifting up
Always listening
Always seeking to create a bond of love

We cannot be about exclusion
Churches use exclusion to punish
They deny people access to the table of god (not very biblical)
As a country we deny people entry in safety
People are exclude from affluence, being denied a living wage, justice, and more

Exclusion is everywhere
But we cannot use exclusion as a way to coerce or minimize, or punish

For spirituality is about inclusion
And embrace.
This is not easy
This is sometimes costly (ask Jesus)

But it is the way of God
Who invites all to gather at the table of love and grace

I am working hard
Not to be the exclusionary self I want to be
I find myself driven to be…..

How about you?
Can you embrace the person who believes differently
Votes differently
Embraces different values

Its not easy.. 
I want to reject, exclude, distance
But I am called instead to embrace
We all live within the circle of grace
We all belong

We all belong to God

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