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

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

A New Years Prayer

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.

What can it mean that God would slip into the vulnerability of skin and be made flesh? Seems a lousy idea in a way, given the very sloppy and broken reality of our physical lives as humans.  Our bodies bruise and decay and disappoint us, and sag insistently toward the earth so why in the world would God not spare God’s self the indignity of having things like sweat glands and the hiccups?
                                                              Nadia Bolz-Weber (A New Years Message)

On this last day of the year
My mind is a bit frayed
There are loose threads everywhere

And sometimes it feels as if, were I to pull one
Everything would come unraveled

One thread is “incarnation”
The idea that the Sacred would “slip into the vulnerability of skin”
Blows my mind

But what is even more staggering is the idea that the incarnation did not end
With the death and resurrection of Jesus

If we learn nothing else from the Jesus last intimate teachings
Offered to his disciples, it is this
That in the Spirit the incarnation continues, through the lives of the people in who
are awake to, and open to the working of
The Spirit, advocate, comforter, guide,

Another thread is “word”
In Genesis we see the power of the word
God spoke, and chaos became order
Darkness became light

God spoke (or perhaps even sang)
And as the divine music moved through the still air
Beauty was born
Mountains, rivers, clouds, birds, the animals
We were born

When I weave incarnation and word together
What I end up with

Prayer is the spirit putting into words
The unbearable longings of one’s heart
The dreams
The fears
The hopes
The joy
The anger

We speak and something happens
In the Spirit the words are more than words
But take on life
And live in our minds, our hearts, our souls
(however you want to think about it)
And perhaps become incarnate

And live in our thoughts, our attitudes, and our behaviors

And so this brings me to
This moment
When the fog lingers
This moment
When one year fades away and another emerges
This moment
When it seems like a good time to pray

So here is my New Year’s prayer

Dear One
This year may I be the incarnation
Through your Spirit
Slip into the vulnerability of this flesh
And make yourself real
In me and through me

Be in my mind
Help me to use it well
That I might sort through all the input that comes my way

Help me to set aside my prejudices
And my old patters and perceptions
Help me to be critical
And never settle for what is comfortable and convenient
But always seek what is true
Really true

Be in my eyes
Help me to see things as they really are
Help me to see people as they really are
Help me see past the facades
To what is real

Do not let me be seduced by the trappings of power and wealth
Do not let me be repelled by the detritus of poverty,
Help me to see past physical beauty, or lack of beauty
Help me to see past color or creed
And see only Sacred children
Full of beauty and grace
Precious souls
Immeasurably valuable

Be in my words
That they might be words that build

Be in my hands, and my feet
That I might do the works of love
That I might comfort those in pain
Visit those who are lonely and afraid
Listen to those who feel they have no voice

Be in my days
That I might be a person who
Works to help anyone who is vulnerable

Help me to fight for justice
And demand equity (even if there is a cost for myself)
Help me to feed the hungry, house the homeless
Help me to provide people with what they need to live
But more
What they need to flourish

O Sacred One
I am yours
This year may I be the incarnation
Through your Spirit
Slip into the vulnerability of this flesh
And make yourself real
In me and through me

Because I certainly cannot do this on my own

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