Friday, July 26, 2013

Perfection

God does not demand perfection, but has a heart to heal us when we are broken. What does it mean to be "perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect"? It is to will wholeness for all creation, even as a father desires health and wellbeing for his child.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Caught in sin

Once my father built a manger to feed hay to our cows. The manger had a wedge shape top loader with vertical slats about six inches apart. One would put hay in the top where it would remain clean and dry for the cows who would eat it by tugging at the hay drawing it through the slats. The cows took to it immediately. As the hay was nearly all consumed, one cow reached her head in for the last bits. When she tried to pull her head back, she found that it was stuck. She panicked. She started flailing about and bucking, trying to get her head loose. Before we knew what was happening, she had flung the manger with her head still stuck in it into a muddy pond in the middle of the pasture. The pond was deep enough that she could have drowned in it, but the frightened cow managed to keep her head above water. She was truly stuck and we were dumbfounded as to how to get her and the manger out of the marshy pond. I can't remember exactly how we did it. We tried several things, and neighbors came to help. Eventually we did get her loose of the manger, and she sprang out of the pond when she got the chance.

I wonder sometimes if this is not how our heavenly Father views us when we fall into sin. What was meant to feed us becomes a trap. Our heads get stuck in it, and the more we toss about, the worse it becomes. We may even find ourselves in such a condition that we cannot free ourselves. The Father loves us no less, but will jump in and do what ever it takes to set us free. Not only the Father and his Son, but a few good neighbors--whatever it takes.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Forgive one another

The trouble with sin is not that it keeps God from loving us. The trouble is that sin keeps us from loving and forgiving each other and ourselves. Sin keeps us from loving God as God loves each of us.  So I say, Jesus did not die so that God could forgive you. Jesus died so that we might forgive each other. He dies so that we might lay down our weapons and insults, our grudges and pain, our pettiness and pride. He dies that we might release one another from bondage, guilt and shame. He dies that we might embrace each other as sisters and brothers, children of one holy Parent, children made whole. When we do this--in whatever measure we can--the Father's broken heart is made whole. So I say, forgive one another.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The big broken heart of God

God is near the brokenhearted. God is with every frightened child and hears the pleas of the terrified. God is with us in every distress. Broken minds and broken bodies, God enters in to our suffering and will not abandon us. As a community we share the brokenness of God. We will not think it strange that each of us is broken in our own ways. Rather we can bless these as means to grace and knit together the broken heart of God. In this way we welcome any who come our way. May our fellowship with one another say to each stranger, "Come, find your place with us in the big broken heart of God."

Sunday, December 9, 2012

You are mine

I love you and you are mine.
Speak tenderly to the soul and tell her:
In my eyes you are beautiful.
In my eyes you are whole.
In my eyes you shine like the sun.
Of greater worth than all the world
is your soul to me.
I love you and you are mine.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The silence that calls us to wholeness, part 2

O God,

I have called you the silence that calls us to wholeness. And yet my heart clamors for words--foolish, distracting words. Silence may well be the universal language of saints, sages and seers. And yet how unhappy am I to sit with an empty cup. A wordy wisdom, my mind races for a wordy wisdom. And yet, I shall never find you in the babbling of my idiot mind. You abide in the empty heart, but I would stop up the way with senseless chattering, lest what I fear most should grab hold of me and pain seize me. And yet you gather me up, the mess that I am. In your gaze, my heart is silent and free. O wordless one.

Amen.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The silence that calls us to wholeness

O God,

How do I address myself to you? You seem aloof, too subtle for this world that can be seen, touched, and quantified. If I imagine you, all I see is my own imagination. And yet, here I sit on this rolling planet, traveling in time and space. The universe is vast, and I am the product of endless cataclysms. My body is formed of stardust, the exhaust of an ancient super nova. I orbit the Sun in this rare garden paradise as my star swirls about a monster black hole, the darkness at the center of my galaxy. Who am I, but a complex and restless earthling? Somehow it is within me to ask, to wonder, to witness. It is within me to ask, who are you? And it is within me to answer, I am. I live in the crushing rock cycle. I wash away and find myself again in cycles of water and air, birth and death. Time will erase the memory of me, but you remain that which calls me into being. O God, you are the silence that calls us to wholeness.

Amen.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

You live in us

Here's my very latest. This song was an opportunity to reflect on the practice of communion. We gather in brokenness. We taste the bread and wine. And in this we may be blessed to see how Christ lives in each of us.

We gather in your holy name,

in brokenness, your body share.

O taste of bread and sip of wine,

You live in us!

Dwell with us / O my Beloved

O God be pleased to dwell with us

On this earth, in this life, now and forevermore

O my Beloved, bright you are!

Come, Holy Spirit, guide me

Here's a prayer I pray from time to time. It is based on a prayer from Mother Teresa.

Come, Holy Spirit, guide me

Come, Holy Spirit, protect me

Clear out my mind so I can pray

Pray, Holy Spirit, inside me