Showing posts from March, 2015

Monday Meditation

Transcendent God,
lover of our souls:
Help us recognize that
you are the mysterious essence of our being.

You come among us
in unexpected ways.
You make yourself known
not through kings,
but through carpenters.
You enter our world
not on the machines of war,
but on the wings of a dove.

You enter our city
on a donkey,
through the intimate family door,
and you come only to love us.

We strive to follow
in the way of the Master, Jesus the Christ.
Help us recognize you in our midst
by recognizing you in ourselves,
and in every person we ever meet.

In this way,
may we all become
the transcendent examples of compassion
exemplified by Jesus,
entering through the intimate door
to each other’s souls.

Entering the Spiritual Temple, part 2

I remember celebrating Passover with my mom’s family, and it was largely a celebration of remembrance and thanks. We remembered God’s activity in the release of our Jewish ancestors from Egyptian captivity. We remembered Moses and the founding of the first Jewish nations. We gave thanks to God for God’s continued blessings.

The Christian side of my family celebrated Palm Sunday, and even Good Friday and Easter, with the same sense of remembrance. Although I didn’t realize it at the time—nor do I think my grandparents realized it, this was also a celebration of thanks to God for freeing people from captivity to the sinful ways of the world. At Easter dinner, we remembered Jesus and his activity for the common human good. In these celebrations we also gave thanks to God for God’s goodness and mercy.

While both of these celebrations were beautiful in their own way, they were largely celebrations of the past, of traditions. Any Passover celebration or associated Christian celebration I’ve a…

Entering the Spiritual Temple, part 1

For hundreds of years, Jewish families would leave their homes and make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. There, they would gather to worship in the Temple and celebrate Passover. Jesus made this pilgrimage with his parents every year of his life. By the time he was in his 30s, one of these trips would be his last.

This Sunday, most Christian churches will celebrate Palm Sunday, Jesus’ final entry into Jerusalem for one last Passover celebration. They will tell a story about Jesus entering the city humbly, on a donkey, through a lesser city gate, while the Governor and Roman Legions entered magnificently, on war Elephants through the main city gate. Christian preachers around the world will use this contrast in different ways. Some will talk about the social and political inequality of the time and how it compares to our current troubles. Some will talk about the power of God through Jesus over and above the power and might of the Roman Empire.

These are all good and valid spins. However, I’ve…

Monday Meditation

Words can never describe
the depth of our love for you,
our most glorious lord God.

The depth of your love for us
knows no bounds,
and we do our best to return
to the rest of the world
the love you freely give us.

We try to thank you
through our every thought
and every action.

We praise you
by dutifully following Jesus,
the Master whose path
illuminates our lives,
even when we are suffering
our darkest nights.

Our modern world,
like the world of Jesus,
makes it difficult
to stay on the path.
By turning away from you—
by neglecting our half
of the covenant
you made with us,
we have created an artificial society;
a global community yes,
but one held together
by the most tenuous
of human-made threads.

We have forgotten that
the only true community
is your community,
dear Holy One.
We long for a world
populated by people
whose hearts have been softened
by reunion
with your loving presence.

We pray that your Spirit
will ignite the spark of the Christ
within each of us,
and remind us that we all,
like Jesus,
are your children.

With hu…

Living in the Mystery, part 2

Most of us grew up being taught that the universe began with the Big Bang. We were probably also taught, or presumed, that before the Big Bang there was nothing. However, Big Bang theory does not imply nor explicitly state that before the Big Bang there was nothing. Rather, the idea is that before the Big Bang, the universe was infinitesimally small. There was no time; there was no “space” as we currently perceive it. There was just an unfathomably small something waiting to explode into being. The Big Bang was the event horizon that created all the stuff that creates all the stuff in our universe, including space and time. Including us.

I have often thought of the Big Bang as an explosion of God’s consciousness, a self-awareness moment that created all physical matter. What if the Genesis creation myth is superimposed on Big Bang theory? Could not God be Creator by simply becoming self-aware? Knowing that Big Bang theory also presupposes an eternal universe (just a very small one), th…

Living in the Mystery, part 1

One of the big reasons people claim they do not believe in God is what I call the Endless Loop of Creation Problem. If we were to write the ELCP as a computer program, it might look something like this:
            define God=Creator
            let God create Everything

Do you see the problem here? The very first line of the code actually creates God as the creator. Until God is somehow created, nothing else can come into being, yet if God is the creator of everything, and nothing comes into being until God creates it, who or what created God in the first place? Hence the endless loop. If there was a time when there was nothing, and God created everything out of nothing, where did God come from? The atheist position is that God had to come from somewhere, which implies something created God, or even if God created God’s self, there is still something out of which God could be created, which means there was something that existed before God.

This endless line of “where did that come from”…

Monday Meditation

Mysterious and motivating
Force of the Universe:
Connect us to your love.
Flow through our souls
like bolts of lightning
through the dense electrified blanket
of a highly charged summer sky.

Energize our being
with love and compassion,
focus and clarity,
joy and lightness of being.

Help us tread gently
through this life,
ever more aware of
the precarious nature
of our relationships
to each other,
to our precious planet,
and to you,
our always-present,
Mysterious One.

We don’t know how you work,
We just know you are.
We feel your presence
within and all around,
changing us,
shaping us,
conforming us
ever more and always gently
into the image of perfected humanity,
as it was seen in Christ
so long ago.

Help us achieve a greater state of being,
and always,
to recognize the Christ-like nature
within everyone.
We are all part of the very being of God.

Our ancestors called us your children,
because we are indeed
created from your very being.
You are in our DNA.
You are our DNA.
We can never be separated from you,
we can only falsely…

Evolving to Spirit, part 1

A new fossilized jawbone was recently discovered in Ethiopia. This discovery pushes the arrival of our species back on the evolutionary ladder by almost half a million years. This discovery is exciting for a number of reasons, not the least of which is as a reminder that evolution is a very, very slow process.
I find this story particularly timely, because I have found myself, perhaps like many of you, growing impatient with a world that seems ever more intent upon complete and utter self-destruction. I look around the world and see new forms of slavery and abuse, and wonder what happened to all the progress we made in the 1960s? Did we actually make any progress, or have we been fooling ourselves? Is there no relation to evolution and the way we treat each other as a society? Our tools have changed, but have our habits and instincts? We still kill each other over little patches of land or control of a resource. I find it hard to believe we can’t do better after three million years. The…

Monday Meditation

The Glory of God
ignites us all into loving action!
We are moved
to transform our world
because God’s love
has transformed us.

We know that
none of us lives in a vacuum.
We understand that
God’s love is the essence of all life.
We see God
in everyone’s eyes,
and share God
through each other’s hearts.

God is all,
and God makes us one.
One people of love.
One people of compassion.
One people of courageous 

Reclaiming Our Personal Relationship With God, Part 3

Once we realize our Oneness with God, something amazing happens: We begin to understand how important it is to consider the welfare of others. Spiritually awakening to our Oneness somehow unites us with the rest of humanity. This might seem contradictory at first, and certainly much about believing in God is contradictory, or as Paul might say, even foolish. I don’t think we’re fools to believe in a conscious force greater than ourselves. Belief in a Supreme Consciousness (notice I don’t use the word being) keeps us humble. Awakening to the energy of the Supreme Consciousness within us opens our minds to a bigger picture about the interconnectedness of humanity. Realizing God is within, as intrinsic to our being as the blood coursing through our veins, compels us to serve others rather than nervously hoarding resources for ourselves.

Fear is the only reason humans hoard and refuse to share. We are afraid there won’t be enough to go around. We are afraid someone will get more than us. J…

Reclaiming Our Personal Relationship With God, Part 2

The oldest religious systems we know of were about worshipping the gods. For the most part, humans worshipped these gods out of fear. The gods were judgmental, and if they thought we did something insulting, they punished us with famines, floods, plagues, earthquakes and other generally unpleasant things.

Unfortunately, after several thousand years of human evolution, after the enlightenment and the revelations of Einstein, Hawking and other cosmologists, our religions are still about worshipping and pleasing God or gods, for the most part out of fear of retribution. Let me illustrate how little religion has changed:

The oldest recorded religious system we have comes from ancient Sumeria. Their belief was that Anu, the king of all the gods and creator of the cosmos, dwelt in heaven. He was the ultimate judge and jury, both for the transgressions of humans, and for the actions of the other gods. Anu was part of a ruling TRIAD including Enlil and Anki. Sound familiar? To be fair, the Sume…

Reclaiming our Personal Relationship With God, Part 1

Think about the Bible stories we grew up with. Whether or not we consider ourselves religious people, we know most of these stories by heart: Noah’s Ark, Moses and the Burning Bush, The Journey to the Promised Land, The Birth of Jesus, The Ministry of Jesus, The Death and Resurrection of Jesus, etc. Yet, as well as we know these stories, we seem to have forgotten their connecting thread: Our relationship with God is meant to be personal.

In the Bible, God speaks to and through people like you and I, people who are changed and motivated to change by their encounter with the Divine. God speaks to and through Moses, even revealing the greatest information in the universe to him: I AM. God speaks to and through Jesus, whose entire ministry is an attempt to teach and convince people that God wants to speak to and through them as well.

The stories in the Bible (at least the ones that are spiritually motivated) are about a humanity that is greater than we ever dared to imagine: a humanity that…

Monday Meditation

God of endless wonder,
we are astonished
by the revelation and realization
that you are not a being
sitting on a magical rocket chair in the sky,
judging and condemning based on human ideals,
but rather that you are a force—
the force of love
that is and is within all things
great and small.

We too often live in fear.
We too often speak words of hate,

and build walls of distrust.

We have created you in our image,
and made you judge and jury,
accepting of a narrow few.
We have made you a god
who is always on “our” side,
not realizing that when we truly know you,
there is no “us” or “them,”
there is only you,
the eternal love of the universe.

Our fear of others
(and our fear of you)
keeps us away from love.
We find too few ways to connect with you,
the eternal essence of forever.

You love us into being.
You connect with us in ways
we have trouble describing,
and are still grasping to understand.

Yet, if we open our minds
and our hearts,
you teach us the ways of love,
which expels distrust,

pulverizes fear,

and fuses …