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Monday, March 20, 2023

The Holy Spirit Came When?

This morning I'm reading Origen, known as the first genius of Christian theology (185-253 C.E). One of the things he proposed was that the Holy Spirit came only to rare individuals, such as the prophets, before Jesus' ascent. After the ascent, the Holy Spirit was available to at least all of the followers of Jesus.

While I like a great deal of what Origen said, I disagree with this idea.

First of all, I think it ludicrous to think God, and the voice of Wisdom and Guidance that we now call The Holy Spirit, only became interested in us humans after Jesus left the planet. That God didn't guide people from the very first, but only very much later, is hubris of the first order. Only to "my" group makes no sense.

I heard this week that it is estimated that 99% of all written material from antiquity is lost to us, at least at this point. Civilizations rose and fell. Libraries were burned. Victors wiped out the cultures of the vanquished. History marched on. Some things got incorporated into the culture of the victors, but who knows what and why and how. It melded together or was discarded.

Also, there were very very very few literate people at any given time until quite recently, historically speaking. In the Roman Empire, it is thought that less than 5% of the people were literate. In the Middle Ages literacy was below 20% and did not increase until the Enlightenment and industrialization. 

Even so, we have some examples strewn across history of inspired people other than the Hebrew prophets. There were the well-known, such as Buddha, Lao Tse, Confucious, Plato, Aristotle and others, before Jesus' ascension. We can imagine other people sitting around a campfire, speculating about the big things, such as the meaning of life. And sometimes one or more at each campfire across thousands and thousands of years and all across this planet, had an epiphany, an aha moment that hit them and led them to know more. They couldn't write it down, or even if they could, it disintegrated between then and now or is buried under layers and layers of civilizations built upon other civilizations.

Just in my life, in conversations, people speak of inspired events in their lives, of moments of spiritual understanding and insight. Very few write them down to share with others in the future centuries.

In many of the ancient writings that we do have, Wisdom is spoken of with reverence. It was thought to come to at least some from something More. The Holy Spirit is our Counselor, our Guide, Wisdom expanded beyond our finite understandings. And I fervently believe that It is and was available to all open and seeking souls. May we be so open.

Thursday, March 16, 2023


Yesterday my only first cousin and I met and hugged and talked for the first time in decades. We had lost touch, and because of Ancestry, we found each other again. He was the closest thing I had to a brother growing up. He's the only person left from my early life. It was wonderful. We will stay in touch.

Now I hope and pray the rest of my life will be restored. I am hoping this was the beginning, and the rest of my family will be restored and my assets returned. Perhaps this was a turning point.

That leads me to more restoration thoughts. Can we restore the original and brilliant teaching of Jesus, stripping away the questionable theologies heaped upon him over the centuries?

Can we restore the dream of so many of us, likely the vast majority of us, for peace. Can the crazed dictators and warmongers be stopped? Can sanity, compassion, dignity, kindness, forgiveness and essential goodness take the lead?

Can we restore logic, science, actual free speech and common sense? Can we stop the Marxist attempt to stop and demean  religion, destroy our values, redefine words, rewrite history, mock biology, and take down all free nations?

I think almost all of us want this restoration. Will we allow the tiny majority to stop us? In a real sense, the future awaits us to decide what it will be.

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

A Window to More

This morning a thought came to me that I want to share with you.

Jesus, among other things, was a window through which we can see our potential once we align with the Divine. So many hints - Greater things than this shall you do. Let you light shine. Our Father... 

He modeled what a life is like that is devoted to the Divine by his words and his deeds. He called to us to follow him - not to worship him.

I have a little challenge -re-read the Gospels from the point of view that Jesus is asking you to do greater things, to let your light shine, to remember we have one and the same Father, our Father, to see through the window he opened for us.

As we look through the window of Jesus, what do you see? What calls you to be more? How can you be the person he is presenting as your possible you?

Thursday, March 2, 2023

What Is Your Species?

I came across a twofold thought from Rudolf Steiner this week that tweaked my mind. 

First of all, he said that all humankind is one species. I have long thought that. We have minor variations in size, color of skin and eyes, etc. - surface stuff. But we are all human, of the same species. Or, I might say all children of the Divine and therefore siblings.

It's the second part that gave me a new thought. He went on to say that each individual soul is a species unto itself. No two are alike. We each have a different bio. We each have different memories. We each have our own prism through which we view and evaluate life. We each have known different people. We each have traveled in different times and to different places. We may have lived other lives, none alike. Who we show up to be is a mixture of all of this. 

That makes a lot of sense to me. And yet, I have a caveat - It is amazing how different and yet the same we are. Across history, we see so much that is alike. Humans want to love and be loved. Humans form families and care for one another.  Humans struggle with issues such as greed, lust, fear, hope, generosity, etc. Wars are fought and people die, often for seemingly trivial issues that could be talked out and hugged out.

People have spiritual urges and deep questions. People go on voyages and adventures in search of something. People can be heroic or cowardly, open or closed-minded, faith-filled or fear-filled, and on and on.

And yet, we actually are one species, within which we have unique lives. Perhaps if we looked at one another with this understanding, we could be more charitable in our interactions. 

If we saw that each person is a work of great art, created by God with details sculpted by life, we could love and appreciate one another more.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Meditation Insight re: 23rd Psalm

This morning in my meditation I had a different view of this Psalm come to me, and I want to share it with you.

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, [Even though I sometimes resist or even forget]

I shall not want; [But I might want other stuff than what is good for me]

He makes me lie down in green pastures. [Whether or not I want to at that moment]
He leads me beside still waters; [Do I have to give up chaos?]

He restores my soul. [Sometimes my weary soul resists being restored for some strange reason]

He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. [But sometimes I don't follow]

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, [Sometimes I want to sit down and have a pity party and stay in the valley awhile]

I fear no evil; for thou art with me; [I get scared anyway because I forget God is actually present]

Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. [If I let You, You ward off attacks with your shepherd's staff]

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies; [Even if people are against me, You are with me, showing those enemies they have no power]

Thou anointest my head with oil, [You seal me to You whether or not I deserve it]

My cup overflows. [Sometimes with what I don't want but apparently need]

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; [All things work together for good, even though they might not seem so at the moment]

And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. [No matter where I am in this life or the next, I dwell in the Presence of God]


Monday, February 20, 2023

Is Peace Possible?

As we possibly stand on the edge of WWIII, it seems to me that we who see clearly, we who love God and God's Expression that we call Creation, have some sort of spiritual obligation to stop the destruction and violence that seems to be accelerating.

I have often said that we need to be peaceful ourselves, following the great spiritual maxims to love one another. If we cannot be peaceful in our personal hearts and lives, how can we ask our collective nations to live in peace? We must demonstrate the possibility of peace with our own lives, our words, our actions. Then we must listen to be guided to participate in the world in such a way as to be part of an outbreak of peace on earth.

I am told in prayer that this is no longer just a good idea, it is on the verge of being urgent. We are on the edge of the most terrible war in the history of this planet, war with weapons so destructive that it is unlikely many, if any, will survive. You see it - guns and knives, attacks on each other, a proxy war between the West and Russia in Ukraine, China vowing to take over the world and now talking of supplying Russia with weapons, dictators of the world rattling nukes and voicing threats, leaders in the West talking of the great re-set of global government - and on and on. There is actual danger to us all.

We see all this. What can we do? Do we believe, have faith, that there is a solution, that we, just ordinary people, can do something to turn it all around? 

I don't know the answer. I do believe there is an answer. Let us pray that we will be inspired by The Divine Presence, known by many names, so that we do know what to do, and that we are given the courage to do it.

Oh Divine Presence, Holy One, Creator of all that is, we remember it is in You we live and move and have our being. We remember Your nature is Love. We remember the countless times in history You inspired people to do great deeds, to make meaningful differences, to stand for the right thing. We need You now so very much to bestow Your Wisdom upon us. We need Your Leading, for we alone do not know how to bring Your Peace to this precious earth You have given us. Dear Lord, speak to us, show us the way, Your Way. Rise up at least a few great leaders to inspire the people of this planet to love and save one another, to even embrace one another as children of You, as siblings, as one human race. We raise our voices together as one voice. Hear our prayer. Grant us Wisdom and Courage. May it be so! We seal our prayer with all that is Holy, and with the ancient seal of faith, with the fervor of our very heart of hearts,  Amen, Amen and Amen

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Jesus as THE Door

 Origen said a simple statement that intrigues me:

But it would require both much time and labour to collect together all the titles of the Son of God, such, e.g., as the true light, or the door, or the righteousness, or the sanctification, or the redemption, and countless others.

I don't recall reading this passage before when I first read "The Works of Origen." That is often the way with most any meaningful writing, at different times different things stand out and speak to us.

The idea of the teachings of Jesus being a door to God, to spiritual awakening, to at least partial resolution of my quest is striking me as most profound. I have come to think of his teachings as brilliant, as roadmaps as to how to live my life, to pointers to rise out of ego and into true spiritual steps, to incredibly inspired. To think of the teachings as a door means walking The Way leads me out of my limited consciousness into the infinite possibilities of The More. The teachings are not ends in themselves, but a doorway through which I can enter That to which He is pointing. 

That leads me into Paul's universal understanding of en Christo - the energy that animated Jesus animating us. The Cosmic Christ, the Universal Christ, the Energy of God flowing freely, Guiding, Urging Onward, Loving, the dark glass cleaned, the scales falling from eyes, the veil lifted. Being made new.

The Door!!! Simple yet life-changing.

Friday, February 17, 2023

Thoughts From an Early Christian

Origen lived from about 185-253 C.E. He was influenced by Plato (as were most of the early scholars) and Clement of Alexandria among others. Many have said he is the most brilliant and greatest genius the early church ever produced. On my Kindle this morning I was re-reading a book of his. I chose the below quote to discuss with you this morning.

For so long as any one is not converted to a spiritual understanding, a veil is placed over his heart, with which veil, i.e., a gross understanding, Scripture itself is said or thought to be covered: and this is the meaning of the statement that a veil was placed over the countenance of Moses when he spoke to the people, i.e., when the law was publicly read aloud. But if we turn to the Lord, where also is the word of God, and where the Holy Spirit reveals spiritual knowledge, then the veil is taken away, and with unveiled face we shall behold the glory of the Lord in the holy Scriptures. 

This idea, it seems to me, explains the wide array of opinions and theologies that endeavor to speak of what the scriptures say. They start with the same documents, but do not argue the same understandings. Some say this or that and others say the opposite. What are we to think? Origen notes that reading the scriptures without spiritual understanding is to read them through a veil.

It seems to me, that thought is related to Plato's, Aristotle's, and Augustin's idea that Virtue is necessary to know God. Origin tells us to turn to the Lord and let the Holy Spirit reveal spiritual knowledge.This leads me to Lectio Divina, or Divine Reading. This practice has been used by the mystics across times and places. It is part of "modern" Christian practice, brought forward by Centering Prayer and many current leaders in new Christianity.

With no agenda, no predetermined idea of what it should mean, or what you were told it means - with open heart and mind read a line of scripture slowly, read it word by word, re-read it, sit in the silence and let it roll in your mind. After just a few minutes, write down any ideas that come to you. Just write without evaluating, it's called stream of consciousness. After no more than 5 minutes, then go back and read what you wrote. Often you will be amazed at the thoughts that came through you.

It takes practice, but the veil can be removed. Let those with eyes, see, those with ears, hear.

Monday, February 13, 2023

Revisiting Aristotle

 For some reason, I felt led to re-read Ethics, which I have not read for a very long time. This quote below spoke to me this morning, such that I want to share it with you and also some ideas about it.

And as at the Olympic games it is not the finest and strongest men who are crowned, but they who enter the lists, for out of these the prize-men are selected; so too in life, of the honourable and the good, it is they who act who rightly win the prizes.

Participation has always been a part of my life, of who I am in life. So, I understand Aristotle's idea that you have to enter the Olympics in order to have a chance at winning a medal. You have to enter into life in order to give the gift of self. And, of course, it is a spiritual obligation to give one's best, most honorable, most excellent part of oneself.

The discourse we enter with this wholesomeness offers a lively debate on topics chosen, and after hearing all sides, some consensus may be reached or else more discourse must follow. It seems that the current situation is filled with those who wish to stop such discourse and limit conversation to what those in power have deemed to be the case. It seems to me that this is a move toward authoritarianism, not toward freedom.

There are many challenges in life, personal, spiritual, political, etc. In order to arrive at the best solutions, the best course of action in the midst of the challenges, we would be wise to listen to all points of view with the honest desire to find the best, not to just defend our particular point of view. Courage is needed to rise to these times and be the most sincere and honest people, truly seeking the highest and the best.

Thursday, February 9, 2023

More Regarding "The City of God"

I am finally to a more philosophical part of the book (9,300+ location in the Kindle) - I have persistently slogged through the many arguments against the Greek and Roman gods. And we arrive at his discussion of Plato. He describes Plato as the greatest of the philosophers having travelled Egypt and Italy in search of knowledge and truth, and adding his own brilliance. Here is a quote I'd like us to consider today.

Plato determined the final good to be to live according to virtue, and affirmed that he only can attain to virtue who knows and imitates God,--which knowledge and imitation are the only cause of blessedness.

Augustine makes the point, in agreement with with Plato, that all earthly things change and pass away, but that of the Supreme is eternal and changeless. So, it is useless to seek felicity in the body or mind.

Their conclusion is stated in the above quote. Virtue is what we should use as our guide in order to live in felicity. And virtue, perhaps the glitch for many people, requires us to know and imitate God - and therein is the path to a blessed life.

In many ways, in this "modern" time, virtue is scorned, and the opposite is portrayed in fiction and song and culture. It's a bit like Augustine's pages and pages bemoaning the violence and licentiousness in the theaters of his day. He ties that and the cavorting of the gods as major reasons for the fall of Rome, plus allowing the barbarians to gather at the gates and overwhelm in their invasion.

Many parallels to today it seems. I wonder if we have the wisdom and the will to turn to virtue, to seek to know and imitate God???

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Startling - Augustine's "The City of God"

Near the end of his life, Augustine spent a decade writing his major work, "The City of God." I'm at location 4,900+ out of 29,000+ locations on my Kindle, and he still hasn't given much in the way of his Christian theology, for which he is most famous.

His beginning is odd. I'm not sure - stoic, fatalist, or just coldly observant. He writes at the beginning of this book of the sacking of Rome that went on in his lifetime, beginning in 410 C.E. This book was completed in 426 C.E. in Hippo where he lived. He writes of the huge numbers of deaths in Rome and says things like They were going to die anyway, sooner or later, for all die. He writes of the stacks and stacks of corpses and says things like Dead bodies feel no sensations, so it really doesn't matter they are not yet buried. For someone who is going to be sainted, this seems oddly lacking in compassion, although technically accurate.

I guess this fits in with the next sections and premises. Rome and Greece have been wicked, violent, licentious, while true to their gods who were either ineffective in protecting them or were demons. He argues through huge mountains of data regarding wars and insidious attacks and murders and intrigues and horrible things in the history of these powerful nations. He indicates that there is a popular point of view that they were sacked because of Christianity and the people's slacking away from their traditional gods. Augustine, in excruciating detail, debunks this theory.

I look forward to getting to the point where he feels his case is laid sufficiently and can go forward explaining his view of Christianity. So far, in his defense of Christianity, he has made a few comments such as Christians would not behave so. He has made a point that I have made from time to time, that once Christianity became an imperial religion, its nature and teaching changed. I personally work to peel the imperial stamp and theology away, and to go back to the brilliant teachings of Jesus.

I also see in the history of Rome some disturbing parallels to our current situation as a nation and as Western civilization. I am reminded of the old adage He/She who does not know history is condemned to repeat it.

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Slander of God

I'm reading Augustine's "City of God," which is astounding in many ways. Right now, I just want to note one idea.

What he says is that when a leading person is slandered, there are all sorts of repercussions. Why not "when the gods are objects of so wicked and outrageous an injustice?"

Why not? Why do people disparage God by loudly saying the opposite of who/what God is? 

God is unconditional love, agape love. In perfect, unconditional love there is no hate, no violence, no ugliness. Yet, some continue to accuse God of being violent to those of any group called "other" by the accusers. They puff themselves up by calling themselves part of the "in" group, and warn of horrible things to come for those not in that particular group and not followers of their particular point of view. They make God in their narrow, egotist view, full of human error and emotional problems.

Let us take charge of ourselves and move to be more and more like that unconditional love. Let us move to know the actual God of all. Let us heal our spiritual wounds, and let us move forward together.

May it be so.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Teresa of Avila, Wow!

This morning I was re-reading "Let Nothing Disturb You," and this quote struck me as something I need to share.

We pray to our Father “who art in heaven.” But where is heaven? Where shall we find our Father? It is important to know and experience the answer to this question, if we are to concentrate our minds and souls. You know that God is everywhere; and this is a great truth, for, of course, wherever God is, there is heaven. No doubt you can believe that in any place where his majesty is, there is fullness of glory. Remember how St. Augustine tells us about his seeking God in many places and eventually finding his father within himself.

Remember that Jesus said that we've looked all over the place, lo here and lo there, but the kingdom is actually within. It may be general knowledge among those on the spiritual path that we each must do our inner work in order to know this at an experiential level. One of the current problems, however, as I see it, is that way too many have given up on the spiritual path for various reasons. 

Some have given up because they think secularism or other isms are more modern and useful, or because they cannot swallow the ancient myths and strange beliefs, or because they don't see any use of it, or a thousand other reasons. I gave up on it, sort of, when I was in college. I gave up on church, but I kept on searching spiritually. I found out what they were telling me in church did not match up with history or science or any number of other things. I read a mountain of books, went to a lot of seminars, talked to a lot of people, and eventually, there I was, being ordained in 1978.

Now, I see a dire need in society to turn again with fresh eyes and hearts to the spiritual path. People are becoming untethered from the morals and ways that hold civilization together and give us the opportunity to grow and seek, to prosper and share, to be more and more of who we can be. It is as if some act as if they are feral, like feral cats - wild, scratching violently, fighting, only for themselves.

Science, medicine, arts, history - all areas have been updated. None are like they were a hundred or two hundred years ago, let alone thousands of years ago. Yet most of religion has not been updated with the breakthroughs in language, history, archeology, theological understanding or anything else. In fact, it's gone backward in many groups, adding 19th century misunderstandings (such as John Darby's rapture) or dismissing parts of itself because of the "enlightenment,"  and ignoring the consensus of the great mystics who had a direct relationship with The More, and lived across all times and places. 

If we wish to reattach ourselves to the spiritual path, I think we can go backward and forward in our search. We can read and contemplate words of people like Teresa I quoted above or others including Meister Eckhart, Hildegard of Bingen, and Mechtild of Magdeburg, We can read and even watch on YouTube modern thinkers on all things spiritual - for example: Richard Rohr, John Dominic Crossen, John Shelby Spong, the Napa Institute and Fr. Robert Spitzer (for amazing science + religion), Brian McLaren, Cynthia Bourgeault, Matthew Fox, Amy Jill Levine and a huge number of others. You can read the two best sellers in the religious category in the 20, the century - the first half was Evelyn Underhill's "Mysticism" and the second half was Aldous Huxley's "Perrenial Philosophy." These and others include new information on history, language, science, and how it reframes our view. If you seek at least some of these out, I guarantee your spiritual engine will be recharged and off and running.

Clear spiritual thinkers are needed right now, yes always, but maybe especially now. Together we can lift the present and set a direction for a positive future.

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Looking Through the Eyes of ...?

This month the scripture we discussed at our United Women in Faith meeting is below. This morning I felt led to share a few thoughts about it with you.

Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life emerges! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.

2 Corinthians 5:17-20, The Message translation -- One of the 7 authentic Letters of Paul

This passage is quite astounding to me. First of all, Paul echoes Jesus' statement to not judge by appearances, but use righteous judgment. Paul says "now we look inside." So I think it would be good to take a moment and ask ourselves - How am I doing with that? When/where do I only see the surface and not look inside? How can I be more self-aware, so that I look at the inner and not the outer? How much calmer and more loving would my life be, if I truly were doing this consistently? It seems to me that spiritual growth is a process, rarely an instantaneous leap into cosmic consciousness. We need to be consciously involved in our process, not just let it happen willy nilly. That is, assuming we actually want to develop a mature and deeply meaningful spiritual life. Maybe that is a foundation question to ask ourselves. I sort of assume that, if you are reading my blog, you are focusing on being more and more spiritually awake, aware and in tune with the Infinite.

Paul tells that once we put our foot on the path, we get a fresh start and can be made new. Something clicks, shifts, opens when we sincerely align ourselves with the Infinite, the Christ Presence, the More. It is certainly a discernable difference.

He tells us that God has settled our relationship. We're all right with God. And then we are given a job to do --- tell others. Not only that, but we are now Christ's representatives - and we are to persuade others to drop their differences and make things right. We are to encourage others to join in the work of bringing everyone into harmony, to remember we are all God's kids, all siblings, one family. 

But then Paul goes farther --- We’re speaking for Christ himself now. That is an immense prospect. That carries huge responsibility. It also carries the possibility of slipping into hubris, which we have seen so many do. It can, however, be humbling and life-changing. 

It seems to me, if I speak for Christ, I need to be totally aware of his life and teachings, not the theology heaped upon him over the ages, but the original teaching. I need to speak and act as much as I possibly can in attunement with Him. I must speak and act out of unconditional love. I must forgive without limit. I must help and care and give and shine the Light that is within freely. I must root out of myself all that is unlike the Christ, which means I must honestly see myself and keep shifting every day, every moment to the goal of being all I am called to be. 

It might seem overwhelming, but it is a process that will make life so much fuller and more fulfilling. And, it might just change the world.


Monday, January 16, 2023

Christian Women Across History

In preparation for our United Women in Faith Sunday in February, I have written 8 scripts for our members to portray to the congregation. It strikes me how incredibly difficult it has been for us to achieve and to give our spiritual gifts in most times in history.

Jeanne-Marie Guyon, for example, was an advisor to King Louis XIV, wrote to the Pope, and had disciples, including Fenelon. But she was jailed for about 8 years for teaching "Quietism" after she wrote a book, A Short and Very Easy Method of Prayer. She was basically teaching what many of us practice and teach nowadays, Lectio Divina, or Divine Reading. 

It seems wild to think of a woman imprisoned for teaching prayer, but women have been held in various stages of vulnerability for eons. I know in some places this very day, people are jailed or exiled for religious beliefs, and that is despicable of course. But that does not negate that across eons, women have been thought of as possessions, or less human than men, a subspecies, or unfit and unable to think, and who dare not teach men. And this very day there are women living under such conditions in some parts of our world.

In Western cultures, that is pretty much overcome. But, we have sisters still suffering humiliating restrictions and barbaric treatment, mostly in the eastern part of the world. Clearly, there is much work to do to bring freedom and equality globally to everyone.

I want to get back to history for a moment. Since women have been generally devalued, we have only a few great spiritual women whose words and thoughts have been written and preserved so that we can read and consider them today. I think we should celebrate them and relish their precious words. Let's listen to a few:

    St Bridgid of Kildare
  • Christ dwells in every creature
     Hildegard of Bingen
  • We cannot live in a world that is not our own, in a world that is interpreted for us by others.
  • Even in a world that's being shipwrecked, remain brave and strong.
  • Dare to declare who you are. 
  • Humanity, take a good look at yourself.

Mechthild of Magdeburg
  • If you love the justice of Jesus Christ more than you fear human judgment then you will seek to do compassion. 
  • The soul is made of love and must ever strive to return to love.

Amen, Amen and Amen

I hope you will look up these and other women and deeply hear their words of insight and inspiration.

May 2023 and beyond be overflowing with blessings for you and yours.

Saturday, January 7, 2023

Individual/Unique or Universal?

This morning I was rereading John Dominic Crossan's book on the different sacred art of the East and West in regards to the resurrection. He makes the point that it is not described in the writings we have, perhaps being indescribable in words or not actually witnessed. He starts the book with this quote:

 If Christ did not rise for us, then he did not rise at all, since he had no need of it just for himself. In him the world arose, in him heaven arose, in him the earth arose. For there will be a new heaven and a new earth.

ST. AMBROSE OF MILAN, On the Death of His Brother Satyrus

This quote sums it up. 

Western art portrays Jesus rising alone, maybe  with observers down below him, often with mouths open, watching his unique and individual rising.

Eastern art, however, portrays a very different resurrection. Jesus empties hell and brings everyone with him. His is a universal resurrection, bringing everyone with him.

Modern scholarship has moved towards the Eastern understanding, and I concur. It makes sense to me that Jesus already knew life eternal, so to rise alone would be snubbing lowly people who were unlikely to follow. But to show that we can all rise with him, is a game changer. It is a very different message.

Let's consider/contemplate Ambrose's quote and take it into our hearts and discover deep within us the meaning of his words for us.

God bless you, dear ones.

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Hear and See My New Year's Sermon

Just go to Temecula United Methodist Church on its YouTube channel or Facebook page.

I was honored to be the worship leader and gave the sermon on New Year's morning. I'd love for you to hear it. 

Have a truly blessed New Year.

I love you,