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

Friday, February 2, 2024

love alone

It was as if

all the miseries of human creatures

had rained down


pain and hate and fear

searing the soil, consuming the fragile buds of the acacia tree

leaving nothing

but stones


there with only a stone for a pillow, he sat

this beloved child

surrounded by whisperings


make this stone bread


It is all yours if you want it

All the power!  Grab it

All the fame and fortune!


You can be king of the world

Yes, you can!


There is that place where there was only want

Where there was every excuse to grab power

The Beloved chose another way


He did become exalted, with a name that is above every name,

He did become one to whom every knee should bow and tongue confess

But not by grabbing power



He humbled himself

He gave it all up

The power, the glory,

Even life


To love us to God

To show us the way


Power without love becomes cruel




Greg Abbott

Donald Trump

And so many more


Some, wanting what is wrong

Some, perhaps, wanting what is right

Have heard the whisperings

And responded


Have chosen to grab power

To control, to dominate, to coerce, to punish


There is no right relationship possible here

Just walls

Just people with power, and people without

People with, and people without

People winning and people losing

People turning other people into objects

To be “acquired, controlled, used and discarded” (Spellers)

For power


The world has never gotten better

We have moved no closer to the Kindom of God

When the state, the church, and individual Christians

Have listened to The Whisperer


It has only gotten crueler

More deadly

More unjust

More divided


We have not learned

That we can have it all, and have nothing

And we can have nothing and have it all


What good is it

If we win the world

But lose our souls


There is only one path to true power

One path to the Kindom

One path


Paul said it well

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” (Phil 2)


The path of humility

And servanthood


Jesus showed us the way

It is not an easy way

It seems nonsensical. It seems impossible, weak


We act as if Jesus was wrong

But if the cross shows us anything

It shows us that the power of God shows up most

When we are humble

When we cede

When we serve

When we love


There is a way other than domination

Maybe we ought to try it.



There is no possibility for right relationship if one powerful group protects and sustains itself over and against all others. From there, it’s just too easy to construct binaries and hierarchies of human existence. Our group is good; all of you are bad. Our group belongs on top; we have to keep you low. Our group owns these resources and knows the best way to use them; you will only receive what we give you. Other members of the human family become objects and tools to be acquired, controlled, used, and discarded.

          Stephanie Spellers, The Church Cracked Open: Disruption, Decline, and New

Hope for Beloved Community (New York: Church Publishing, 2021), 39.


Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.”

Martin Luther King Jr.


Justice without love is not justice. Love without justice is not love.

 Mother Teresa


If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.



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