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

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

A resolution (or a revolution)

“The last shall be first and the first shall be last.” This is exactly, when it comes down to it, why most people do not believe in grace. It is fucking offensive.”
Nadia Bolz-Weber, Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint

My New Year’s resolution this year is simple

And there is only one

This year I am going to believe in grace!

I am going to believe that God has turned myself
and everyone around me
into the beloved Children of God

just by speaking
(and God spoke, and the world began, and Christ was born, and I am God’s child)

Buechner rightly notes that “IN HEBREW THE TERM DABAR means both "word" and "deed." Thus to say something is to do something. "I love you." "I hate you." "I forgive you." "I am afraid of you." Who knows what such words do, but whatever it is, it can never be undone. Something that lay hidden in the heart is irrevocably released through speech into time, is given substance and tossed like a stone into the pool of history, where the concentric rings lap out endlessly.”

In Jesus God spoke and said “I love you”
God spoke and said “I am in you”
God spoke and said “I am in everyone you meet”
God spoke and said “Love wins, always”

And so I am going to take God at God’s word

I am going to believe in grace
that God loves me and accepts me
that God is present in me
that God’s Presence rubs off and is somehow mysteriously present through me
in this world
and that I can make a difference

I am going to believe in grace
for that guy carrying a gun in McDonalds
for that knife wielding man who crashed and Hanukkah party
and tried to kill
for Donald Trump
for those obstructing justice
for those unacceptable and incompetent judges being put in our federal courts
for that person who shouts hate at a young Muslim girl
for that one who wants to refuse sanctuary for refugees and clamors for a wall
for that fearful one
that hateful one
That racist one
that 1%er greedy one

I am going to believe in grace
No matter how offensive that person is to me

I am going to believe in grace
Even though grace is offense
(and believe me, it is offensive to believe in grace
for those who hate, and exclude, you hoard, and kill)

I am going to believe in grace
And I am going to believe there is no limit to what God can do for them

For if I cannot believe grace for them
I cannot truly believe grace for me
(at least not without really claiming privilege and merit, which is just silly)

So this year
I am going to believe in grace

And I am going to believe in what grace can do
In me
In you
In them

For grace is both the end
And the beginning

Happy New Year

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