January 2, 2017
From the Rector’s Desk:
Don’t be frightened overmuch even at your evil actions…. I predict that just when you see with horror that in spite of all your efforts you are getting farther from your goal instead of nearer to it—at that very moment I predict that you will reach it and behold clearly the miraculous power of the Lord who has been all the time loving and mysteriously guiding you. Fyodor Dostoevsky The Brothers Karamazov
How easy it is for us to get lost in our own machinations, our own goals, our own schedules, and lose sight that we are part of a bigger context, an all inclusive creation that holds us in unfathomable love. By design we distinguish one thing from another by its differences: we know light by knowing darkness; we know wetness by knowing dryness; we know joy by knowing sadness; we even know life by knowing death. These polarities that define our world are each part of the all inclusive creation that is held in unfathomable love.
Likewise by design we naturally give value to each side of these polarities: walk in the light – good, walk in darkness – fearful and not so good; beautiful sunny day – good, getting caught in a rainstorm – not so good; life successes – good, failures – not so good. Yet good or bad, both are part of the inclusive creation that is held in unfathomable love.
Suffering happens in our world. God’s unfathomable love does not shelter us from it. In fact, Christ’s presence on the cross embraces suffering as part of being truly human and part of the inclusive creation. God is not absent in our suffering or in our unwitting or intentional evil, nor in our vagaries or our self-centered dismissals. We cannot separate any part of ourselves out of God’s all inclusive creation that is held in unfathomable love.
I invite you into a spiritual exercise called the “examen” Simply put it is the exercise which at the end of the day we remember ourselves. We can examen as an evaluation of the days actions, what worked and what didn’t. But in the light of this note I invite you to collect your daily self, holding up both good and not so good thoughts and actions up to God. We do this not for judgment (our value system) but to hold all of ourselves up to God’s unfathomable love. It is here we might see what Dostoevsky points out “the miraculous power of the Lord who has been all the time loving and mysteriously guiding you.”
God’s Peace – David+
JUNE 2, 2016
From the Rector’s Desk:
The temptation is to focus upon what is wrong “out there.” Often those who cling to the periphery of our life tell us what is wrong with the church. Usually we can add many things to their little lists because one must be of the family to know all that is wrong. Perhaps a prophetic voice is needed, but if that voice has the power to heal, it will come, as of old, from within the community…. But often the need is not for a prophet; the need is for the person who can ask of God what he must do to be the one through whom new life breaks. “What in me blocks the coming of the Holy Spirit?” Elizabeth O’Connor Call to Commitment
I am afraid that with all the craziness of the world that surrounds us we have gotten into the habit of focusing on what is wrong with the world. I have noticed that my conversations drift quickly from opening pleasantries into shaking of heads about some bit of local or world chaos. Once headed down that road everything is fair game from complaining about the weather or that some body part aches. Soon the conversation is over and not one positive thing has been said. It probably would not be so bad if we were planning ways to right the wrongs, to fight against the injustices, but no, we are just listing them, just complaining.
Two problems with this, first it is addictive and easy to just talk about the problems that we forget to see the gloriousness of the world we live in. Secondly, we easily substitute talking about the problems for actually working on the problems, being a healing presence.
Jesus was not ignorant of his world and all the sadness and pain yet his words and actions always moved us towards healing and redemption. His promise of the Holy Spirit was so that we would be his hands and heart to the world, empowered by the gifts of the Spirit and filled with the abundance of God’s love.
When we in our conversations ask, “But what can we do about it?” (“It” being violence, global warming, additions, famine, refugees, homelessness, etc.) perhaps we have not asked the question that Elizabeth O’Connor invites us to ask “What in me blocks the coming of the Holy Spirit?”
Every Wednesday evening at 6:00pm three of us meet in the Spiritual Center at Trinity for 30 minutes and pray for healing and redemption of the craziness of the world. We act in faith that God hears our prayers and trust in the power of the Holy Spirit. The daunting immensity of the problems is no match for God’s Spirit.
What the future will bring is anyone’s guess and the craziness will not simply vanish but if we are mindful of God’s Spirit working within us and the world, well, perhaps at least our conversations might have something more constructive to say than lists of wrongs.
God’s Peace – David+