Showing posts from January, 2016

God the Fundamental String

Richard Rohr talks about God as the “unified field.” This unified field is what connects everything physical and metaphysical (and here the metaphysical is not supernatural, it’s simply “meta” in its truest sense—that which underlies everything else). For Rohr and other people of faith, especially those of us with a mystical bent, the unified field is God.

Einstein spent much of the latter half of his life looking for the scientific equivalent of this unified field—the force that connects electricity, magnetism, gravity, time and space. In his day, quantum physics was just becoming a discipline, and some of its important theories seemed astonishing to Einstein. You see, when Einstein published his theory of relativity, it created a bit of a schism in the scientific world. For centuries, physicists operated under the notion that Newton’s laws described everything in the universe. We all remember some Newtonian physics from elementary school: levers, action and reaction, gravity—these ar…

The Avant-Garde Church

For January 12, 2016

Free= Liberated from social, historical, and psychological constraints
Jazz= Improvised music for heart, body, mind, and soul. The Avant-Garde Church
There’s a jazz movement that’s often referred to as “Free Jazz” or “Avant-Garde Jazz.” Pioneered by the likes of Ornette ColemanPaul Bley, and Keith Jarrett (a pianist who is one of my greatest influences), it emphasizes improvisation of both form and function.

The jazz most people know is based on “standards,” songs from the 1930s and 1940s such as “Night and Day” or “Autumn Leaves.” These are terrific songs, and they make for great improv. But the songs are pre-formed. They have a verse, chorus, and bridge, and no matter how clever the improviser, for the most part, we still recognize “Autumn Leaves” as “Autumn Leaves” when we hear it.

One of the great innovations of the free jazz movement was the idea that even the form of the song would develop organically—there is no song until the song begins. So in a jazz trio, th…

Monday Meditation

Good and loving God,
we give thanks
for this time to reunite with you,
the ground of our being.

May we continue to grow
in our relationship with you
and our understanding of you
as the energy of love
that flows around,
and through,
all creation,
in this and every reality.

We give thanks
for the scientific discoveries,
which continue to unravel
the mysterious engines of creation,
helping us discover
your fingerprints
in every leaf and flower,
in the dust of the stars,
and in the very DNA
that forms all things.

This new knowledge
helps us understand you
in new an ever more profound way:
as our life partner.
You work with us
by working through us,
because we have learned that
your very consciousness
creates our physical being;
and that your consciousness
exploded into the material world
billions of years ago
in a big bang of creativity;
then again thousands of years ago
as Jesus the Christ,
and that you continue
to burst into and disrupt this world
every day with every birth
as every one of us.

Continue to give us
the spiritual …

Jesus Christ: Jedi Master

The Star Wars sagas are rich with spiritual metaphor. In the original film, Obi-Wan is a Christ figure, and Luke his disciple (it’s no accident the main character of Episode IV is named Luke). When Obi-Wan dies and tells Luke “Remember, the Force will be with you always,” he’s echoing Jesus’ statement in Matthew 28:20, “Remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

I could spend a year picking out all the spiritual analogies in Star Wars, but today I just want us to think about one of its main plot devices, The Force, and how characters who are tuned into The Force—both light and dark, are so similar to characters we read about in the Bible.

In particular, I’d like us to think about The Force and the Jedi as an excellent way to reframe the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Interestingly, and somewhat paradoxically, Star Wars gives us new language to use about Jesus that enables us to relate to him in a more authentic, First Century, CE, way.

It’s pretty amazing that a movie as popular as…

Monday Meditation

Holy, unifyingLove of the Universe.
Glorious God!
Hear our prayers.
Feel our prayers.
We pray for nothing more
then an actual experience of your love.
We also pray for nothing less.

[pause to hear God’s still small voice]

Our faith in you
gives us the confidence
to have faith in humanity.
Through prayer,
we know you
and we also come
to know each other.
When your loving, compassionate energy
is flowing palpably through us,
we can let go.
We can relax.
We can experience you,
and be filled
with the confidence of an unwavering,
unconditional love—
a love we are then called to share with others—

[pause to hear God’s still small voice]

We place our trust in you,
our faithful lover.
We don't pray for specifics,
knowing you don't need
to be micromanaged.
You, the infinite expanse of the universe;
you, the dew on every blade of grass;
you, the majesty of a mountain range,
you the invisible molecules of all creation.
You already know
everything the world needs,
because you already are
everything t…