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Friday, April 1, 2011

Episode 33: April 10 - And I Saw God

There are moments
—how can I speak of this?—
there are moments
too big to talk about
too big for words
too big to explain.

To speak of it
is to reduce it
to size:
that which has no
To put it into
is to put it into
a box:
that which cannot be

There are moments when
the unknowable
the unseeable
the untouchable
touches us, and
we see
we know
we experience
the infinite
in a finite

How can we speak of it?
How can we explain it?
How can we . . . ?
We cannot.  And yet . . .
how can we NOT
speak of it?

Episode 32: April 9 - Review

O.K.  Here’s where we have come so far.
1.  Life is a mystery.  (We searched ourselves for understanding, and journeyed through the wilderness.)
2.  God is a deeper mystery.  (We contemplated the unseen Mystery, and seeing the Mystery in Jesus.)
3.  The key is love (to understanding the mystery of life and the Mystery of God.)
4.  You have received a great gift (the love of God) and it is in your hands to pass along.

Now, what do we do?
Yes that’s the question. 
We asked it on Ash Wednesday.

Dust and breath;
matter and spirit.
That’s who we are.

And how do we live?
            Dust and breath?
            Matter and spirit?

Answering that question
is your assignment
for the rest of your life
(as it always has been.)

Next week we’ll look at a few examples.  Not that they will answer the question,
but they will be something to consider.

Episode 31: April 8 - Spiraling Along

As was said:
You participate in a spiral
of people reaching out
to ever increasing numbers.

There is also a spiral within
the more you are in union with God,
the more you can love with the love of Christ.
the more you love with the love of Christ,
the more you grow in union with God

Thus are you able to know
“the riches of the glory of this mystery,
which is Christ in you,
the hope of glory.                                             (Colossians 1:27)

(according to John
or was it John putting words in Jesus mouth?)
also liked to talk in circles.
“They who have my commandments and keep them
are those who love me,
and those who love me will be loved by my Father
and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”        (John 14:21)
“Those who love me
will keep my word
And my Father will love them
and my Father will come to them,
and we will make our home with them.”                    (John 14:23)

Get into that circle.
It’s a good place to be.

And keep spiraling along.

Episode 30: April 7 - Keep Up The Good Work

Faith or works.  Works or faith.
It’s an ancient debate.

Here’s the point:

If you don’t have faith
that you are loved by God through grace
then you get caught up
in trying to earn God’s love
by proving you are worthy
through good works that you do.

If you know by faith
that you are already loved by God
then you are
to do good works
as an expression of your faith and love.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God—not the result of works.”                                                   (Ephesians 2:8-9)
(Good works don’t enable God to love us.)

“For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.”                                             (Ephesians 2:10)
(God’s love enables us to do good works.)

So keep it up.

Episode 29: April 6 - You Can't Do It Alone

Here’s why
you can’t do it alone.

John said:
If you are going to
love as Jesus loved,
you have to be in union with God.
If you are going to be in union with God,
you have to know Jesus
and love as he loved.

That’s circular.
How do you
step into that circle?
It happens
when your life is touched
by someone
whose life has been touched
by the love of Christ.

First Jesus loved the disciples.
Only then could he say to them,
“Love one another as I have loved you.”
And they were so filled with that love
that they could love others.
And they could write it all down
so they could touch other lives
including yours.
And people around you
were so filled with that love
that they could tell you about it
and touch your life with it
and open the circle for you to step it.

And so it moves on
now not so much as a circle
but more like a spiral.
in which you participate
being loved
and loving others.

Keep up the good work.

Episode 28: April 5 - As Jesus Loved You

When Jesus said,
"Love one another as I have loved you,"                           (Jn 13:34)
he was saying that
what Christ is to you,
you are to be to other people.
You are to be
(as Martin Luther said)
a little Christ to other people.
You are to be one in whom the mystery is revealed. 
You are to be one who loves people so much that their fear is overcome. 
You are to be one who loves people in such a way that they can accept the mystery,
embrace it as Jesus did, and find life. 
You are to be one who,
when you love somebody,
they know God loves them.

Is that what it means to be a Christian?
Remember when you signed up?
That was in the contract.
It was?  Oh boy.
Can we review those things again?

Episode 27: April 4 - God Can Be Seen

What?  God can be seen?
John said, “No one has ever seen God.”
Remember that?
John also said
“Whoever has seen (Jesus) has seen the Father.”           (John 14:9)
Remember that?
Then John went one step further.
“No one has ever seen God,
but if we love one another, God lives in union with us, and God’s love is [seen] in us."    (1 John 4:12)

What?  God can be seen in us?
That’s what Jesus said.
You mean John said.
Jesus first.

Early on Jesus quoted from Deuteronomy:
“love your neighbor as yourself.”                                  (Deut. 19:18)
At the end he raised the bar:
“Love one another as I have loved you.”                       (John 13:34)

No longer am I exhorted to love others
as I imperfectly love myself.
I am commanded to love others by imitating
the perfect love of Jesus.

Love one another as I have loved you.
What is he saying?
See one another as I have seen you.
Help one another as I have helped you.
Befriend others as I have befriended you.
Teach one another as I have taught you.
Lift people up as I have lifted you.

That’s all it takes.  Just do that and
God can be seen.