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

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Screw duality

Sometimes I wish life weren’t so messy
Sometimes I dream for the blessed anesthesia of black and white
Yes and No
Saved or Lost
Right or Wrong

Sometimes it was all nice, and neat

But instead it is messy

Jesus entered fully into the untidiness of this world

He embraced it all
The beauty and the ugliness
The fear
The legalism
The uncertainty

He entered into the ambiguity and pain
Because that was the only way he could really
Be in the world
See the world
Touch the world

And so he was born in poverty
went down into the muddy water of the Jordan, to receive a sinners baptism
he wandered in the desert
he ate with sinners
he was praised and reviled
he was beaten and scorned
and killed, unjustly

and he calls us, his followers
to follow, follow, follow

We cannot hide behind the rules
We cannot hang on desperately to certitude
We cannot focus on what is rigid and settled
And refuse to enter the uncertainty

For if we do
We can no longer see, people
We can no longer feel, the pain
The confusion
The fear

Instead we will walk around muttering
“the scriptures say, the scriptures say,”
And lose our capacity for empathy

We will not see the young woman, pregnant from a rape
We will not see her life in tatters
Her anger, her fear, her anguish
We will only see our belief that abortion is wrong
And lose our capacity to see her
This living breathing person, who is in so much pain

We will not see the person who happens to be LGBTQI
We will grab hold of a few lines of a letter
Written over a thousand years ago
And not see the value, the beauty of that person
Who is so precious in God’s sight

Jesus always saw the person first
The one standing in front of him
He saw them completely, fully
And with the eyes of love

And for that person, he broke the law
He went against scripture (how many times was he accused of violating scripture!)
And to that person he offered acceptance, and forgiveness, and love

And more than once he said
“you have heard it said, but I say”
As he raised the bar
And called us to higher levels of empathy
And compassion
And generosity
And love

We cannot allow the comfort of certainty
To blind us
To close our minds, and hearts and souls

That is not the Jesus way
The Jesus way is to lead with the heart
The Jesus way is to enter into the mess
And always, always
See the person in front of us
As a child of God…

And love

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