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, November 11, 2020

Turn around

Jesus quite clearly believed in change.  In fact, the first public word out of his mouth was the Greek imperative metanoeite which literally translates as “change your mind’ or ‘go beyond your mind”…  The word metanoeite, however, is talking about a primal change of mind, worldview, or your way of processing – and only be corollary about a specific change in behavior.  The common misunderstanding puts the cart before the horse; we think we can change a few externals while our underlying worldview often remains narcissistic and self-referential.

                               Richard Rohr, The Universal Christ, p.86



some people like change

God for instance

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?

I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland”  (Isaiah 43:19)


Some people don’t like change

That would be most of us


Change is difficult!

Which is why the images related to change in sacred tomes are often quite radical



Cataclysmic events


Which is why apocalyptic  literature is rarely comfortable to read


if any group of people on this earth should be open to change

open to growth and newness

it should be those who claim to follow the one who called people to be


born again

which really means to be born from above

which really means to be open to the powerful transformative presence of the Spirit

which really means being blown by the Spirit into to places

and reoriented by the fire of God’s transforming love


it is true of course that not all things change

Sacred doesn’t change

God is who God is


Sometimes our concept of God needs to change

being tainted by ideology, and social norms,

by bias and hate

and fear

but God is who God is


The primacy of love doesn’t change

Love God

Love yourself

Love your neighbor as yourself


That never changes!


God’s lust for equity,

and justice


God’s preference for the poor…

never changes


but we need to change


our minds need to change

our hearts need to change

our way of seeing things needs to change

our behaviors need to change, badly


we need to go “beyond our minds”

to the mind of Christ


we need to go beyond of prejudices

our biases

our “deeply held beliefs” in certain societal norms


right now too many voices are screaming at us

to hang on to the old

to the delusion that the way to “win” is to seek domination and power

to our almost universal addiction to wealth

to the false notion that one race is superior to others

to old views regarding the LGBTQI+ community

and more


God is saying change

Too many times we respond by saying “no”


No! I won’t see all as valuable and valued

No! I won’t include all

No!  I won’t love all

No! I won’t let go of my lust for power. 

No! I won’t let go of my view that might makes right, and wealth is a sign of blessing


But here is the thing

God’s new thing is irresistible

It will happen!


And we can be part of the God movement

Or not


Our choice


But if we choose not to go with God

We will need to do some pretty grim things to combat change


We will have to lie, to ourselves, and others

We will have to intimidate and coerce

We will have to shut our eyes to the pain and hurt others are experiencing

We will have literally work against equity and justice


As for me?

I know change is difficult

It stretches me, spiritually, mentally, emotionally

It is, at times, painful

It requires me to admit I have been wrong

It asks for sacrifices, and the abandonment of privilege

It forces me to go against people I care about


But I have to go with God

Wherever I find God taking me

I have to let the fire transform

And the wind blow me where it will


Because God is doing a new thing

And I want to see it!  And be it!

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