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, May 25, 2019

We need love

God is not a being among other beings, but rather the Ground of Being itself which then flows through all beings. As Paul says to the intellectuals in Athens, this God “is not far from us, but is the one in whom we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:27-28). The God whom Jesus reveals is presented as unhindered dialogue, a positive and inclusive flow, and a waterwheel of outpouring love that never stops! St. Bonaventure (c. 1221–1274) called God a “fountain fullness” of love.
                                                                                  Richard Rohr

I think God is having an identity crisis
Or rather, I think there is a  crisis in the way we see God

Today some of the cruelest, least empathic people I know
Are those who claim to be God’s people

The list of their cruelties, both petty and profound
Is exhaustive

They have chosen the way of abuse power
Of greed
Of bullying
Of violence

They have chosen to invoke the name of God
And the name of Jesus to justify all kinds of ills
Including injustice

They hide behind shallow versions of righteousness
Claiming to be pro-life because they are against abortion,
But at the same time dooming living children to lives of poverty and despair
Happily cheering legislation that ruins lives

They support a man who is so antithetical to the way of Jesus
as to be rightfully called antichrist (not The AntiChrist)….

and I think it is because of how they see God

The Bible offers us a tortured changing understanding of God to be sure
But when God, tired perhaps of all the ways we misunderstand,
finally chose to come among us, it became clear

God is love

If God is love, then love is that from which we all emerge
(created in God’s image)

The world we live in is, fundamentally, love
(although we treat it poorly, and so the earth is ill and showing the symptoms
 of that illness)

And each one of us
Every person created
Is fundamentally love

No matter the color, creed, culture, language, economic status, education level
No matter the political affiliation
We are love

But somewhere we lost this
And God became something other than love

God became separate
Powerful (to be sure)
But also  vindictive and retributive

God became tribal (My god)

And God became the excuse
For the abuse of power
For coercion
For hate
For violence
For cruelty (there we are again)

If we do not “live and breathe and have our being”
in the real God, in the God who is love
then we are simply free radicals

we are simply those
separated from Go (for all our rhetoric)
acting out all those aspects of our nature that are not God

This is the failure of American Evangelicals

But they are not alone
This has happened throughout history

Any time people have decided to merge faith with earthly power
Any time people have mixed faith with tribalism (what we call patriotism)
And it happens to all of us, from time to time.
Even to me
Event to you (I suspect)

What happens is God becomes a weapon
Used to control and manipulate
Used to justify prejudice and hate
Used to coerce

We need a new God
Or rather
We need the true God

We need that God who is love
The one who is with us
And in us
The one who cries with us
And mourns with us
The one who cares for the little ones
For the least of these
The one who hovers over us

We need the God who welcomes the immigrant (stranger) with open arms
Who cries with the mother who must abort an unviable fetus
Who hides with the child under her desk at school, as yet another gunman wanders the halls.
Who walks with the black youth through the fearful, deadly streets
Who cries with the parent who can’t afford medical care for their child

We need the God who lives inside us
And is an outpouring of love that never stops

That God who impels us to feed the hungry
Welcome the stranger
Fight for justice for all
Clothe the naked
House the homeless

The God who
Accepts and forgives
Who sees the potential in each person
And seeks to lift each person up

We need
The God who is love

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