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

Monday, March 16, 2020

a messy God

"Let's hold hands
and get drunk
near the sun
And sing sweet songs
to God
Until He joins us
with a few notes
From His own
sublime lute and drum. "

there is an old joke
about a couple sent to meet a ministerial candidate at the airport

they had no clue what he looked like
so they guessed

that the rumpled, gray
and dour man emerging from the plane
must be their person

“are you the pastoral candidate?”
they queried?

“No, it’s just my ulcer that makes me look this way”
Algernon Charles Swinburne caught this same reality
when he wrote
in one of his poems

“Thou has conquered O pale Galilean
And the world has grown grey with thy breath”

where does this come from
this morose and gloomy faith
that seems to create
shriveled souls
instead of fat souls?

this faith that seems to drain people
not only of joy
but of compassion
and welcome
and love?

perhaps the problem
is that too many have a stern
and unyielding God
who would rather burn “them” in eternal torment
that welcome the sinner to the table

perhaps the problem
is that we have created a God
of privilege, and exceptionalism
a biased God
who rains retribution on all but the elect

perhaps what we need is a God
who joins in the messy mix
who come into our midst
into our hearts
into our souls

and joins in the joyful party
singing a bit of karaoke

a God who is with us
and for us
where we are

ready to lift us up
and join in the dance of grace

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