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

Sunday, January 12, 2020

heaven breaks loose

Jesus loves us this we know, for his baptism tells us so.  Sinful ones to him belong.  We go down, and he’s along
                                                              Dale Brunner

We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.
                                                              E.E. Cummings

When we think God
as “with us”
as coming into time and space

we think of his birth
that weird and wonderful entrance
as a child
of a mother born
with pain and tears, and I suspect, joy and relieved laughter too

When we think of God
Identifying with humanity
We think of the manger
That humble, common, earthy birth

But when we think of Jesus identifying with sinful humanity
With greedy, hateful, selfish humanity
With violent, abusive, destructive humanity

We need to think of his baptism

Of that time when Jesus,
“God’s beloved son”
The one who expressed the reality of the Sacred

Went into the dirty waters of the Jordan with all those
Miserable sinners.

John’s Baptism was a baptism of repentance
It was an act of contrition
The people who flocked to the Jordan to
be dunked by a wild eyed, scruffy, politically incorrect prophet

were people who knew
if they knew nothing else
that they had not lived up to their identity as “the people of God”

they were remorseful, and regretful
and penitent

and their journey to the river was a statement
we have sinned against God and against humanity
we do not deserve to be part of this family of faith
we are prodigal

And while the religious elite of the time
Stood on the banks and watched,
Amused perhaps by the antics of the camel hair wearing
Locust eating baptizer
And by the foolish folk
Being dunked into the dirty water of the Jordon

Jesus jumped right in

They went down
He went along

Showing through that action
That he was, and is
“all in” with humanity

There are no contingencies here
Just total identification
Just love

He stepped into the muddy waters of the Jordan
And all heaven broke loose

And all those people
Soggy robes, wet hair
Tired souls, fearful hearts and all

It was OK

Knew that God is love
And all those people were set free
To do life a different way

For there is nothing as empowering
Nothing as freeing, as unconditional love

This is what the Sacred does when it comes
It touches us with love
It “reveals that deep inside us something is valuable,
worth listening to,
worthy of our trust,
sacred to our touch.

This is what the Sacred does
as it comes as Spirit, that same Spirit that came to Jesus
It sets us free
To start again
To create not just new beginnings, but new endings

It sets us free to do life a different way
I allows us, because we are certain of Sacred love,

To risk
“curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight”
To risk generosity
To risk forgiveness
To risk kindness
To risk love

It free us to be who we truly are
Sacred children

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