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 18, 2020

in the name of God

In the name of God

people do the most horrible things


parents abuse their children

angry people pick up guns, and use them

voters put a malignant narcissist in power

churches gather when they should not gather

hate is nurtured


In the name of God

vulnerable people are bullied and reviled

desperate people are excluded

poor people are shamed


I wonder what God thinks about that?

I wonder how God responds to people saying that God wants them to gather

in the midst of pandemic, and endanger their communities?

I wonder if God gives a Trumpian thumbs up to that one who refuses to wear a mask,

because “God will protect me”?


In the name of God we do the most un-God like things




Because it seems like God is pretty clear

God with us said there are two commandments

Love God

Love your neighbor as yourself


And God with us showed us that when it comes to love

you have to go all the way to death


So why can’t we stay home?

Why can’t, if we don’t stay home, we wear a mask?


I know that for myself, when I get into those places

When I become most unpleasant

And it does happen


It is usually because I am in the throes of essential selfishness

I am in that place where it is all about me

My perceived (if not real) needs

My agenda

My priorities

My safety

My power

My affluence


That is to be expected

That is the human condition

I doubt if there is a single person living who can’t identify with Paul when he says:


“I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.”


but I have a big God, an immanent God

and I also have an intimate God, who is as close as my breath


so I am not helpless and hopeless

and in the name of God


I can wear a mask

In the name of God, I can keep my church closed to face to face worship

In the name of God I can do whatever I need to do

To keep others safe


In the name of God I can be offended when someone carries a sign that says

Sacrifice the weak, reopen (insert name of state here)


Because acting in the name of God

Leads always

To an emptying of self, and letting go of personal rights

The ceding of power


Acting in the name of God leads to extreme love

And extreme selflessness


It took Jesus to the Cross




It may simply mean we wear a mask

And livestream worship

And follow our state guidelines

In the name of God


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