Monthly Archives: June 2019

God

A Sermon for 16 June 2019 – Trinity Sunday

It’s Trinity Sunday. A day filled with hymns that declare the amazing work of the Godhead. Holy, Holy, Holy is our LORD God Almighty! All creatures of our God and King! This day is a day too to hear beautiful words from Scripture that proclaim the awesome nature of God. I mean, did you hear those words from Psalm 8?! “O LORD: how majestic is your name in all the earth!” How could we do anything but fall absolutely in love with the Creator as we look upon the grandeur of this world? When we gaze up into the night sky – noticing the twinkle of millions of tiny lights that would take millions of years to walk to! When we look at the ground – like how is it possible that we can take tiny seeds that within themselves are a brilliant, beautiful work of art. We put them in the soil, or a songbird just drops them somewhere. The sun shines, the rain falls. The ground gives way. Before we know it, tomatoes are popping out everywhere. Basil is filling the sweet summer air. Even while we’re caught up in the beauty that surrounds, other little marvels are toddling all around us. These human bodies in which we live are sheer miracles. Do you know that when I broke the bone in my foot a few months ago, a very accomplished doctor with a very impressive education working for a well-respected medical group told me that now that the bone (that had been giving me some trouble for a while) finally broke, the body will heal it and build it back even stronger. Sure it’s taking time and there are factors that can impede the process, but I couldn’t believe I waited all that time to have some fancy surgeon tell me the truth of these incredible bodies in which we get to live: it knows how to heal itself! Despite the aches and pains we encounter as we age – indeed, with the Psalmist we can proclaim: O what are human beings, LORD, that you care for us?!

As Christians we believe Christ to be a part of the Triune Godhead that we celebrate on Trinity Sunday. It’s what makes us different from Jews and Unitarians and a whole lot of really spiritually mature people. In Christ, we believe we hear the words of God speaking to us, as Jesus did in that beautiful sermon he gave to his disciples the night before he would die. He promised: “I will not leave you orphaned” (John 14:18). God loves us so much, because, after all, God is Love. And as Love, God never, ever, ever is willing to be separated from us. We are God’s, Jesus declares in the portion of the great farewell discourse that we hear from the gospel of John today. That means that even if it feels like the rest of the world has abandoned us. Even if it feels like no one else accepts us. Even if it feels like we are in this all alone, we are not. God is like that tenacious father we hear of in Jesus’ parable of the lost – or prodigal – sons. One who never gives up. One who is proud to welcome us home, no matter what a mess our lives have become.

Trinity Sunday ends up being a day in the church when preachers around the world try to do the impossible: we try to use words to speak about God. To describe God. To explain the very nature of the Godhead that we proclaim through the doctrine of the Trinity. Though clearly spelled out nowhere in the bible, tradition settled on words like Father, Son, Holy Ghost to describe the relatedness of the Triune God. Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer often are heard as a way to capture the function of each persona of the three-and-one God. This week, I read words written by The Rev. Jacqui Lewis who tried to describe her vision of God. Admittedly, I’ve never thought about God in the same way that this powerhouse head pastor from New York City’s Middle Collegiate Church describes God. And I’m still letting her explanation of God sink into my soul to see how it might resonate. Even as I remember that Rev. Lewis speaks from and for the context in which she ministers which is a multiracial, fully inclusive congregation whose purpose is “to heal souls and the world because they believe faith is about Love. Period” (https://sojo.net/biography/jacqui-lewis). Quoted in Richard Rohr’s daily devotional, which some of you also may have read on Thursday; Rev. Lewis describes what she sees when she imagines God. She writes: “My God is a curvy black woman with dreadlocks and dark, cocoa-brown skin. She laughs from her belly and is unashamed to cry. She can rock a whole world to sleep, singing in her contralto voice. Her sighs breathe life into humanity. Her heartbreaks cause eruptions of justice and love” (Center for Action and Contemplation, Richard Rohr Meditation: She Is Love, 13 June 2019). Rev. Lewis claims that we know God is a mystery. She writes: “We don’t know everything about (God). So out of our imaginations and our yearnings, our hopes and our fears, we make stuff up. At our best,” Rev. Lewis writes, “we project goodness, power, kindness, and love unto God. At our worst, we create a God who is punitive, angry, judgmental, and harsh. (Lewis says) We do this because we are those things, and we think they make us safe” (Ibid.).

I would argue that we can find it all in our Holy Scriptures – so many different ways our ancestors in the faith were inspired to use words to attempt to describe what we experience of this amazing Force. This incredible Love. This grand Designer we call God before whose awesomeness we humbly bow. Everything from Good Shepherd to Sheltering Eagle to Righteous Judge to Mother Hen to Solid Rock on which to stand is used in Scripture to speak of God. A plethora of images for just about every need in which we humans will find ourselves. The One – the Force – the Energy – the Love, whichever word best describes God for you – who from the beginning was Triune. Which might just be our attempt to give language – a doctrine, an explanation to the God of the Universe who is relationship itself. And if all this Triune talk. If all this trying to speak of God who took on our flesh and blood to be our Way, our Truth, our Life. If all this trying to speak of the Mystery of Three co-existing as One is too much for our little minds to comprehend, then how about we just listen. Listen for the beauty of how the wisdom writer of Proverbs gave expression to the Divine. Hear God’s word to us in this final Trinity Sunday reading from Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31 (NRSV).

“Does not wisdom call, and does not understanding raise her voice? On the heights, beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand; beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries out: “To you, O people, I call, and my cry is to all that live. The LORD created me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of long ago. Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth. When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water. Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth –when God had not yet made earth and fields, or the world’s first bits of soil. When God established the heavens, I was there, when God drew a circle on the face of the deep, when God made firm the skies above, when God established the fountains of the deep, when God assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress God’s command, when God marked out the foundations of the earth, then I was beside God, like a master worker; and I was daily God’s delight, rejoicing before God always, rejoicing in God’s inhabited world and delighting in the human race.”

What else might we attempt to say about God today? Other than this wisdom text may never have been a reading we’d have known had not the council that created the Revised Common Lectionary decided it must be included every third Trinity Sunday. One biblical commentator writes of these words, “First, the image of Wisdom as God’s helper reminds us of the reciprocity of the Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit giving and receiving within the very being of God” (Feasting on the Word, Yr. C, Vol. 3, Jeff Paschal, p. 31). Acting and resting, I would add. Doing and stopping just to behold. The balance of energies that allow the flow. That show us how to be as well. That same biblical commentator goes on to write: “Even more, the description of Wisdom in verses 24 and 25 – ‘brought forth’ (whirling, dancing) – calls to mind the Eastern Church’s emphasis on the Trinity as perichoresis, literally, ‘dancing around’” (Ibid.). In great wisdom the biblical commentator writes: “So we do not worship a stingy God who grudgingly gives gifts and who grants forgiveness as a divine grump” – another way, I would add, that so many seem to imagine God. “Not at all,” writes the commentator, “The triune God is a joyous, dancing God who pours out overflowing gifts to humanity with gladness!” (Ibid.). What a beautiful way to see God in our lives – a way so many of us have experienced even as we have read of in Jesus, the Christ, who lives among us as God! When we experience joy, we know God. When we live free – free enough to dance – we know God. When we take stock of all the gifts that overflow to us, we know God. When we love, we know God. The Triune God whom we trust and worship and serve!

Trinity Sunday is a day to celebrate God, the Mystery who keeps on giving and receiving and giving for all Life to prevail! With grateful hearts, may we ever rejoice in the God who is One, and three. Three and One, dancing around in an endless, unblocked outpouring of Love. Celebrating the inhabited world. Delighting in the whole human race!

In the name of the life-giving Father, the life-redeeming Son, and the life-sustaining Spirit, Amen.

© Copyright JMN – 2019 (All rights reserved.)

 

What We Do Have

Sermon for 9 June 2019 – Pentecost Sunday

On this Pentecost Sunday, listen to a reading from Acts of the Apostles 2:1-21. Listen for God’s word to us.

“When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.” All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.” But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: “In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist. The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day. Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’”

This is the word of God for the people of God. Thanks be to God!

 

On Monday, Sharon Shields and I attended a rather interesting workshop. We went because of the title: Turning Sacred Space into Kingdom Cash. Admittedly, I was not expecting to sit through a full-blown lecture from a Professor of Finance about the steps to take in order to become a Social Entrepreneur. I wasn’t so sure what to do with his in-depth description on vetting market opportunities that included things like benchmarking to other commercial ventures and regulatory constraints and elasticity of consumers and profit maximizers. I looked around the room as he spoke and wondered if he forgot that we were a bunch of church leaders (mostly preachers); not young adults sitting in a university level business class! What did fascinate me in his presentation was his passion for church-based social enterprises. And the descriptions given at the workshop of not just one but three different church-based social enterprises this professor and his students have been about in the last few years.

Let me tell you about Spring Back – a church-based business that not only is improving the work force, but also is making money in serving the social good. Spring Back is comprised of men from the Isaiah 58 ministry of Belmont Church who are coming out of prison and trying to get their lives back together. At a warehouse off Trinity lane, Spring Back employees these men to whom Belmont Church has been ministering. They report to work for pay each day to take apart mattresses. Now, if you’ve ever tried to get rid of an old mattress, then you know absolutely no body wants them! Even the local dump would rather not take them because they are a huge fire risk. Spring Back teaches the men how to take apart each mattress which is made from something like 85% recyclable materials. Foam on one pile, steel on another. On and on they go with discarded mattress after discarded mattress until a profit actually is earned from the recyclable materials!

We heard too, on Monday, of a Farm to Table social enterprise of Nashville that is taking unused land to grow vegetables to sell to local restaurants. This Farm to Table business trains homeless men and women so they are able to work the land for pay. When harvest comes, two bushels of every crop are donated to local food banks while the rest is sold to restaurants wanting fresh, hearty homegrown food. Like Spring Back, it’s a social enterprise our Finance Professor would call a hit with its triple bottom line!

But I have to admit that the church-based social enterprise that blew my mind away was one called Three One Three. Founded by a passionate millennial who also was with us on Monday. While we listened, Brennon told what his Nashville-based Three One Three is all about. He explained that 3-1-3 or three hundred-thirteen days a year, which is all six days a week excluding Sunday, too many church buildings sit empty. As he spoke, I remembered reading the words a member of the twelve-step group now meeting here on Saturdays wrote just a few months back about lots of people today being disgusted with great big church buildings that lock their doors tight to everything but their own worship on Sundays. I can’t tell you how long I’ve sat year after year throughout the week as a pastor in church buildings where I was the sole human being for hours on end. Sometimes trying to work out of such offices is just creepy with the creeks and bumps empty old buildings can make. As a millennial who knows all about the contemporary craving for community, Brennon told about Three One Three’s co-working space located in a church building that otherwise sits empty 24 hours a day at least six days a week. Three One Three worked with the local church to transform some 10,000 square feet of under-used space into desks, private offices, and communal gathering spaces. Small business owners who prefer working alongside others in order to connect throughout the day or who would rather not tie-up their funds into permanently leased office space have membership in Three One Three. Kinda like getting your YMCA card for the year. Folks pay a monthly fee to have access to all they need to run their small business out of under-used church space. Three One Three members have the great experience of getting to know other Three One Three members – talking at lunch and at breaks about things like their latest struggles at home, their great new ideas in their work, their fears and their challenges in everyday life. Brennon says that kingdom-like conversations take place in church buildings that otherwise would be sitting empty. What’s more, in one year, over three-thousand people – mostly millennials and others who would never consider attending a Sunday worship service – have crossed the threshold of the church building where Three One Three is housed. A few even have become church members. Regardless if the church ever attracts them into the rest of their ministry, that’s three-thousand people being brought into a caring, supportive space where they can connect with Three One Three hosts and other Three One Three users to begin creating community. People come together. Under-used church space gets used. And cash is generated for congregations to further their mission – ensuring they carry on the work entrusted to them by God. Isn’t it absolutely amazing what happens when church folk take stock of what they do have that can be re-purposed to serve the social good?

It’s the kind of thing being preached that first Pentecost when the wind blew and the passion burned like flames dancing over each disciple. The Spirit of God was stirred up among the first followers. Though skeptics poked fun and curmudgeons complained, the Apostle Peter proclaimed that the prophesy of Joel was being let loose in the world. The Spirit upon all flesh! Sons and daughters making way for a new future. Youngsters seeing grand new visions. Elders dreaming dreams! It’s recorded in the gospel of John that Jesus himself once declared they would do greater things than he (John 14:12)! And look: they did! We have! God’s work will not be stopped! The Spirit stirs among us and the Church of Jesus Christ is carried on in bold new ways!

Pentecost is one of my favorite Sundays of the year! Because Pentecost asks us to pray for God’s Spirit to guide us anew! We may not be the kind of church that re-purposes our 13,000 square feet of upstairs under-used space the other 3-1-3 days of the year in a co-working social enterprise. But what do we have as a congregation that the Spirit of God might want used anew for the thousands of residents living around this building? Monday reminded me that as a congregation, this church has been entrusted with nearly nine acres of land in the middle of a beautiful neighborhood. According to the demographic information we now know from the quick overview given during our Capital Campaign, the people living closest to this facility report that they’re mostly not interested in religious institutions. Whether that’s how it’s always been in Hillwood-West Meade or not, those who first came together to begin this congregation had the vision of being located in the middle of this neighborhood for strangers to come together. For neighbors to become friends. For those in need to not have to walk alone. Times were different then, but the church set forth using this building to provide that for which local folks had an appetite. It’s never too late to go back to that beginning. We find our way forward, remembering the past purpose of this church, as we envision what will satisfy the cravings of the community today.

It’s easy to get really uncomfortable with some of the directions churches today are going. Then we can remember the people we know who have no church home. People who have been rejected by family members that get themselves shiny for worship each Sunday but live with such hateful hearts six other days each week. I know children I have loved for years who have grown into adults who aren’t about to get out of bed Sunday mornings to move through rituals that seem empty to them even if it’s always been done that way. I can see in my mind’s eye sisters and brothers of every age who think what we’re about here is irrelevant. Non-sensical. And totally boring. You know such folks too – your own neighbors and friends and family members who we haven’t yet figured out how to reach because we haven’t learned the language that makes sense to them.

I want the Spirit to stir among us again. The mighty winds of God to blow away the chaff of church and re-ignite in us a passion to take the good news of a gracious God out into the streets. I’m not talking about shouting hallelujah on street corners or anything crazy like that! But how about dreaming new dreams around the best things of Christ. Things like caring for those who are hurting. Loving those who feel totally lost. Using this space – this land to connect those who are lonely. Giving hope for a better tomorrow to those who feel nothing’s worth it anymore. None of us have all the answers alone and we might need to take the time to ask youngsters to tell us their visions for the future. We might have to ask those older than us what dreams they have for tomorrow – the best of life they want to make sure those yet to come enjoy.

Pentecost is our time to re-open to the Spirit. To renew through the fresh winds of God that are blowing. May every last one of us listen. Look. Dream. For it is absolutely amazing what happens when church folk take stock of what we do have that can be re-purposed to serve the social good.

In the name of the life-giving Father, the life-redeeming Son, and the life-sustaining Spirit, Amen.

© Copyright JMN – 2019 (All rights reserved.)

 

The Fullness of Christ

A Sermon for 2 June 2019 – 7th Sunday/Ascension Sunday

Despite the fact it’s not Thursday, we’re hearing Scripture readings assigned by the lectionary each year for the Ascension of the Lord. As most people never have heard of it and aren’t about to shift their daily calendar to attend to it, as we do for Christmas and Easter; this liturgical day often gets pushed from Ascension Day – the fortieth day of Easter – to the Sunday following it: today, the seventh Sunday of the season of Easter. This year we heard not only the gospel reading assigned for Ascension Day, we also hear the epistle. Ephesians is a letter, likely written by a student of the Apostle Paul, to the church of Ephesus. It has been said to have been “one of the most influential statements of Christian discipleship in early Christianity . . . (with) its depiction of Christian life as a battle against hostile forces” (The Discipleship Study Bible, JKWP, 2008, Ephesians introduction by Stanley Saunders, p. 1990). New Testament scholar Stanley Saunders writes: “Ephesians depicts the Christian life as a battle against cosmic and worldly powers that enslave humankind and darken our awareness and understanding. . . . The first three chapters describe the new reality that has come into being in Christ” (Ibid.). The fullness of Christ, who fills all in all. Listen to this reading of Ephesians 1:15-23 to hear God’s word for our Christian lives today.

“I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. 17 I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, 18 so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. 20 God put this power to work in Christ when God raised him from the dead and seated him at God’s right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. 22 And God has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.”

            This is the word of God for the people of God. Thanks be to God!

 

When I was a child, I loved the Wonder Twins! You may not be familiar with Zan and Jayna who originally were a part of the Super Friends Justice League (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wonder_Twins). No matter the caper, the twins would come together, fist bump, and declare: “Wonder Twin powers activate!” Zan would proclaim: “Shape of” whatever state of water would be needed to combat the evil being done by whoever was threatening the wellbeing of the world. Jayna would shout: “Form of” whatever animal she needed to be in order to work with Zan in saving the day. So, like: as a giant water-wave, Zan could take out the nemesis with a powerful tide while Jayna transformed into something like a friendly whale to carry those in peril safely back to shore. What’s more, as twins they had this psychic connection so that they literally could tell when the other superhero needed back-up. As long as they could come together, to fist bump and declare “Wonder Twin powers activate,” their special powers would be triggered. They would be transformed into exactly what was needed. They galvanized their superhero abilities for everything to be a-okay.

It is that activation. That process – when those two twin energies join together as one. That ability to call upon something extra-ordinary that strikes me in the Wonder Twins. Typically, they looked like every other brother and sister going about their day. But something in them knew they possessed very special powers – ones needed so very much by those in trouble. Oh, every now and again a crafty villain came along to try to bend their minds to his own control. That was when the world most was in jeopardy – the powers of the Wonder Twins vulnerable to be twisted for destructive ends. But for the most part, Zan and Jayna knew that something was in them that could be an incredible force for good. Again and again, they would jump to it, ready to activate those amazing powers not for their own benefit, but for the benefit of any who were in need.

Amazing special powers within is what the writer of Ephesians was trying to tell the church. As far as we know, the writer of this letter never had seen the Christians of Ephesus in person – just heard of their amazing works (Feasting on the Word, Yr. C., Vol. 2, Christopher Rowland, p. 511). Likely the writer heard of feats we’ve come to know as typical Christian kind of stuff – though the acts often were revolutionary in their own time and place. Christians would ensure those without had food. They would care for those who were sick. Christians would welcome widows into the community and give them new purpose through service in Christ’s name. Early Christians sent special offerings to those experiencing famine, like in Jerusalem during the reign of Claudius about fifteen years after Christ’s death and resurrection. They gathered together for prayer – which likely included the kinds of story swopping we hear at Fellowship Time each week. They helped those needing help and found a way to meet as equal all sorts of people: Jews and Greeks. Slaves and free. Men and women alike. Something was activated in them so that they understood the world differently. They saw something in people that many others could not – or just were not aware yet to see. It’s the prayer the writer of Ephesians has for the Christians hearing the message. The spiritual enlightenment the writer wants for them – the opened eyes – that leaves us knowing who we are, what we are made of, and to what we have been called.

Premier Twenty-First Century teacher Father Richard Rohr recently released his mind-opening opus called The Universal Christ: How a Forgotten Reality Can Change Everything we See, Hope for, and Believe. In it, he weaves the theology we’ve come to know in the Western Church back together with the best wisdom we turned from in the Eastern Church when we mutually excommunicated each other’s finest teachers in our 1054 C.E. split. He lifts up Scripture after Scripture to show what’s always been there, but we haven’t always seen. For starters, Rohr reminds us that Christ is not Jesus’ last name! Christ is the word for the anointed one, he explains. The “name for the transcendent within . . . the immense spaciousness of all true Love . . . another name for everything – in its fullness” (SPCK, 2019, p. 5). Rohr is trying to remind us that Scripture proclaims from the beginning that the whole world is “Christ-soaked” (Ibid., p.15) – God infused, if you will. Containing a very special power within! Spirit and matter woven together – shown beautifully to us in the incarnation of the one we claim was vulnerably born in Bethlehem. This is the scriptural witness: that the fullness dwells in all – the divine in and above all that leaves us that beautiful mix of flesh and Spirit. The biblical witness proclaims this truth. A reminder we desperately need to know, Rohr claims, because something in the human mind has a tendency to clench the negative. Before we know it, we see the world through the eyes of Genesis 3 – the story of our fallenness. Instead of reading the world through the eyes of Genesis 1 and 2 – the Judeo-Christian creation stories that declare everything good, good, good, good, good, very good!

Living from the frame of our original blessedness, we walk around the world able to see the special power – the transcendent within all – the divine in matter. The fullness of Spirit and flesh beautifully aligned as one. It might sound a little wonky, if we’ve never considered the wisdom coming from what’s often referred to as the Big Tradition – or perennial, wisdom tradition of the Body of Christ – a tradition of Christianity coming not just from reason-seeking theologians, but from embodied contemplatives and mystics whose work is having significant world-wide impact today. When we understand Christ as the fullness – seen clearly in Jesus of Nazareth – it’s almost like we get the blueprint for how to live fully human. How to live whole. Rohr explains: “Jesus is the archetypal human just like us who showed us what the Full Human might look like if we could fully live into it” (Ibid., p. 23). Jesus is the one who shows us how to be those in whom the Spirit of God is activated. Which hopefully we experience at least a few minutes every day!

It’s how the writer of Ephesians can declare to the church that we are Christ’s body, “the fullness of him who fills all in all” (Eph. 1:23). With enlightened eyes, we can see. Spirit activated in matter; the fullness of Christ in, yet above, all. We might need reminding now and again – which is when it’s best we return to our baptisms. You remember baptism, I hope. The trickle of water on the head. The tracing of the cross on the brow, done – in purist liturgical form – with oil as an anointing. Not as coincidence, nor as a way to show the world we’re now somehow over and above everything else. Rather, baptism reminds us – and all with the eyes to see – that we know the Spirit of God to be in us (Another Name for Everything: Episode 1: Christ-Soaked World, 24 Feb. 2019 Podcast about The Universal Christ, Father Rohr). We understand and accept our original blessedness. So that our baptism into Christ – our engrafting into his body – is kinda like our initial fist bump with God when the Spirit of God gets activated in us. Baptized, the Spirit’s power works through us. So we can go forth to combat the forces within and without that threaten the well-being of the world.

It’s a risky venture to infuse us humans with the Spirit. To rely on us now to live awakened – the special power activated in us to be the body of Christ for the world today. To remind everyone we meet that the Spirit of God lives in them too – longing for enlightened eyes to see. Thankfully God gives us each other for the fullness of Christ to dwell. For the need is so great. So many precious people of this planet are in peril because, for whatever reason, they do not know – they cannot yet see their own original blessedness. The good in self and in neighbor. It’s time we remember to live into our hope. To embrace our glorious inheritance. It’s time the immeasurable power of the Spirit gets activated in us all!

In the name of the life-giving Father, the life-redeeming Son, and the life-sustaining Spirit, Amen.

© Copyright JMN – 2019 (All rights reserved.)