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, May 15, 2023


It is like a silent killer

A toxic mist that hovers amongst us poisoning our hearts

shriveling our souls


call it fear

call it hate


it drives us from green pastures

and still waters into the valley of the shadow

where we fear evil

and feel so very alone.


crouching in the darkness

like a demented Gollum

we become malignant


we grasp at foul things

we gnaw and destroy

our hunger is insatiable and our dread unrelenting  


we try to solve our torment with power

and satisfy our hunger with wealth


we grab power and abuse it

using it as a weapon against others

we reject the truth and hide behind comfortable lies


our fear-based lives are filled

with guns, banned books,

stacked courts, oppressive laws, and closed borders


and our world is littered

with the neglected poor and the excluded stranger.

with people minimized, marginalized, and denied


the planet itself cries out in pain

as it burns


in desperation, we turn to malevolent dominators

to profane saviors who promise power, wealth, and protection

who tell us we will get tired of winning

if we only follow them

who promise to crush our enemies

fill our pockets


who promise us Empire!


but the cost is great

children dead, truth denied, people left

in poverty and hopelessness

immigrants imperiled

justice denied

equity destroyed


no person can save us

there is only Love

there is only that inner presence of a power greater than ourselves


the secret is this

Christ in us, Love in us, the Sacred in us


we are all Sacred Children

we all carry the Sacred in us

it is there!

that love, that power, that creativity, the compassion

that created the universe


that made the sun, and moon, and stars

that made the flowers and the trees

the birds and all living creatures


it is there, inside us

and if we are awake to it

if it becomes that in which we live move and have our being

if it permeates us


then we do not have to fear

we do not have to protect

we do not have to manipulate and control

we do not have to hate and exclude

we do not have to lie and believe in lies

we do not have to trust the untrustworthy


instead, we can be strengthened in our inner being with power through the Spirit

we can be “rooted and grounded in love”


and we can be people who embrace the truth (and refuse to accept the lies)

people who live with open hearts

open minds

and open hands


accepting, welcoming, giving, caring, affirming, healing


God is here

and if we trust in God, trust in that power within


God will restore our souls

and fill our cups

and lead us down the paths of goodness and mercy


God will lead us home

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

We Say

We say “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” (MLK Jr)

We say “Love wins”

We say “God has this”

We say “In God we Trust.”


In faith, we insist that Sacred is somehow “in the building”

Doing holy things

And that we do not have to be afraid


For "All shall be well, and all shall be well,

and all manner of thing shall be well" (Julian of Norwich)


I believe all of that


But there is something that we often do not say.

That the path toward love and justice

Involves a profound encounter with hate and evil


What we do not say

Is that often the center does not hold

And we slide into the abyss


There is a reason Jesus said we have to “die to live”

And Paul insisted that “all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we were buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6)


We sometimes want to forget that

In between Palm Sunday and Easter

Horrible things happened


Conflict, rejection, betrayal, injustice, brutality, and murder

We forget that the world “did its thing” on Jesus

That Empire killed him,


Before the resurrection happened


We cannot trivialize the power of hate and fear in this world

Yes, Hitler was defeated

But what happened before that happened?

Concentration camps.  Genocide. War. Devastation


Yes, Europe and the world crawled out of the ashes

But the devastation happened.


Yes, people recover from illness,


Mass shootings





Yes, when Sacred is present the end of the path

Will be life and love

Justice and equity


But along the path?

So often the path to transformation and change starts

Not (as Richard Rohr says) “when something new begins, but when something old falls apart.”


I trust that eventually love will win

That people like MTG and DJT and all the rest will eventually be defeated


But I also believe there may well be a lot of chaos along the way

There may be “fire, dark night, death, emptiness, abandonment, trial, the Evil One. Whatever it is called, it does not feel good, and it does not feel like God.” (Rohr)


There are times we do not feel the presence of God

Times when in spite of what we say, we wonder


I see hard times ahead

I hear the words of the ancient prophets echoing in my ears

Woe to those who devise wickedness and evil deeds[a] on their beds!

When the morning dawns, they perform it, because it is in their power.

They covet fields and seize them, houses and take them away;

they oppress householder and house, people and their inheritance (Micah).


We don’t have to go there

But we may well go there

And if we go there

God will be there


“He shall judge between many peoples and shall arbitrate between strong nations far away; they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks;

nation shall not lift up sword against nation; neither shall they learn war anymore; (also Micah)


How do we hang on in that chaotic, liminal

Painful, deadly, time

In between?


We remember that Jesus walked this path too

We remember that out of death God brings life

We remember that Sacred hangs out in our souls

We remember, remember, remember


And we turn in

We go to that deep place within us

Where Love dwells


We become awake to the Spirit

We give it room to work


Knowing that it will not take the pain away

But will transform the pain

Into hope

Into love

Into action


And then we will keep walking

Keep serving

Keep giving


God does not change the world as much as

God changes us, in ways big, and ways small

God’s presence changes the way we see the world

React to the world

Live in the world


And that is why, in spite of it all

The Kingdom will come

And love will win