AWAKE Part Two

•December 8, 2017 • Leave a Comment

time and space“But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day…”
~ 2 Peter 3.8

IN OUR COLLECT this morning, we have prayed for God to, “give us grace so to imitate (Christ) in the humility and purity of his first coming that, when he comes again, we may be ready to greet him with joyful love and firm faith.”
As is often the case with such crafted prayers, a perceived emphasis on a kind of moral action on the part of the praying community or individual can easily overshadow the deeper reality which the prayer contains and really points toward. Imitating Christ in “humility” and “purity”, then, might easily be understood and taught in terms of reading Scripture to deduce how Jesus behaves and interacts and then somehow copy it and so be righteous enough to get some kind of acceptance or reward “when he comes again”. The phrase “WWJD – What would Jesus do?” comes to mind, I suppose. However, for me, all this completely misfires.
The wild, wilderness voice of the Baptizer, announces the coming of Christ. “Prepare the way, for the coming of YHWH (יהוה‎),” is really closer than the usual translations to what that voice cries out. By the grace of God, in the wilderness of our lives, in the liminal spaces of our being, where the material and spiritual coincide, we might be granted the humility and purity that lie beyond the intellectual or reasonable realm of logical progression and mental scaffolding. Here we may, if we let go our craving to understand or quantify Christ, actually come to rest, for a moment or forever, in that very Christ we were seeking, who is and was and will be right here with us all the time. By God’s grace John was in the wilderness, walking the edges, baptizing in the margin or border that is the Jordan. Then he saw Christ and knew יהוה, and in human being arms and in the holy, desert river, יהוה was baptized.

AWAKE

•December 2, 2017 • Leave a Comment

 

sufi christ

…you know that he is near, at the very gates… And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake ~ Mark 34

 

“O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence… There is no one who calls on your name, or attempts to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us…”

~ Isaiah 64.1-9

HOW MANY RELIGIONS have been conceived through self-important, self-righteous ambition? How many religious people have waved their praising arms at heaven when God seems to be vindicating their sense of purpose or at least isn’t too obviously exposing its ego boosting impulses? Have you ever screamed into the wind at God,     “(M)ake your name known to your adversaries, so that the nations might tremble at your presence!”, though deep inside you know full well that it’s your imagined enemies, not God’s, and the nations of your own troubled mind?
Advent is a time to tell the “old, old story”. We will meet Mary and the Angel once more, even sing her rebel song with her and watch her travel, like children in a Nativity, to Bethlehem, through the wild desert night. And we will sing carols by the crib and feel warm while we pray for the broken, the bombed out and the homeless ones. But let’s not just do our religion, eat our presents and open our turkeys. Let’s notice that it is a rebel song she sings and that her uncertain, rugged and ragged journey mirrors ours. Christ is coming. Not as a projection from history or fantasy. Not in a guided mind journey concealed in a Christmas cracker. Christ is coming on Christ’s terms. Let’s be still and be Christed open and may we be found AWAKE!

Whales That Cry, Wisdom of the Deep

•November 21, 2017 • Leave a Comment

IMG_20171110_114640935_HDRWhales that cry
Calling through the ages
with light and grace.
No longer must you live in fear
In the cacophonies of orchestrated minds

We bring the wisdom of the deep ones to you
Bubbling in our wake
Dancing in your inner eye.
Listen with your unstructured self
The harmony within that knows all wave motion as itself.

Free yourself in the waves
Dance the dance of Life with us
Oh sisters and brothers of the land

Pray within the Cosmic Heart
Gently follow and merge with the deep ones
in harmony of sea and sky

 

Breathing Through Trees (Pipe of Peace)

•November 21, 2017 • Leave a Comment

IMG_20171107_150723835_HDR

You Can’t Eat Money

•November 20, 2017 • Leave a Comment

I AM pobsBe silent before the Lord God! For the day of the Lord is at hand…
…Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers and
sisters, you do not need to have anything written…
For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them…

THERE IS A SAYING from the Nēhiyaw (Eng – Cree) tribe from Canada, “When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money.” “Eyes of Fire”, a wise woman from the tribe, also prophesied that one day the “Warriors of the Rainbow”, braves from all the tribes, would come together to wake up all peoples of the earth and teach them how to live the “Way of the Great Spirit”. They would tell them how the powerful nations have “turned away from the Great Spirit and that is why our Earth is sick”. The elders of many tribes are saying now that the time has arrived.
Harvest for the churches of “the people of the marsh” this year seems like it’s been going on for months. Well, I guess that’s because it has been and I am happy about that. Why? Because Harvest celebrates the land and the sea, the farmers, the fishers and the cocklers and brings people of Gower together to share meals and to praise God’s creation. Harvest raises people’s consciousness about our environment and, as we give thanks to God for the fruits of the earth and sea, we rekindle awareness about how that God-given wealth is distributed. Clearly, the systems of commerce that bolster the world’s financial markets are not motivated by fairness of distribution. Nor are they particularly concerned that the “developed” world lifestyle of the past two hundred years or so has damaged the earth, the sea and the air so badly that perhaps it is already too late. The tribes of Turtle Island (N America) have never stopped warning their conquerors that their materialistic, land grabbing ways were destructive but even the recent world media coverage of the Standing Rock Sioux protest over the pipelines through the desert was more interested in the film/photo enhancing violence involved than the struggle of concern for nature versus greed for wealth.
I suppose harvest is officially over here now after Llanrhidian School came Wednesday and brought nearly 150 kg of food (enough for 350 people). We celebrated creation and took the food to Foodbank to be shared. We asked God to take what we have and break it like loaves and fishes, and make it more. Thank you, teachers, children, parents and people of the marsh, church and not church. This is Christ’s Way. May the quiet resistance of Harvest consciousness, awaken like Warriors of the Rainbow and show the way to Christ’s Peace before it really is too late.

PEACE

•November 11, 2017 • Leave a Comment

prayer

Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. ~ Matthew 25.1-4

SOMETIME IN THE middle of last week, I got a message from Donald Trump on my Twitter feed. I don’t know why his messages come up there and I haven’t worked out yet how to stop it happening, but usually I don’t read them and they disappear from my mind as quickly as they arrive. But this one squeezed through: Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump & @POTUS: “The U.S., under my administration, is completely rebuilding its military, and they’re spending hundreds of billions of dollars to the newest and finest military equipment anywhere in the world, being built right now. I want peace through strength.”
This certainly struck me as being a sentiment from someone who is striving to be prepared for something. I’ll leave you to decide if it is the preparation of “the wise” or “the foolish”. I wrote a response suggesting some possible alternatives to the “peace through (mighty weaponed-up-to-the-max) strength” angle but surprisingly enough my tweet did not appear next to the President’s. There were some lovely, happy responses which did though. Here’s a flavour: “Our@POTUS is doing an outstanding job…He is highly respected & I am so proud…gives me hope and faith with all the craziness…Thank God for @realDonaldTrump…A year ago was the 2nd happiest day of my life! The first, of course, was my son being born…Let’s battle some Libs and chat again soon 😊”. I am guessing “a year ago” refers to election day. Has it really been a year already?
This Sunday it’s Remembrance Sunday, a time when people come together just before 11 am and hold silence together, to pray, to reflect, to remember. In the words of Laurence Binyon’s famous poem, “At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them”.
For me, it is the silence itself that speaks loudest. In the silence we might remember or think something about war and loss, and the need for repentance and redemption by and for all humanity. But more than that, silence, non-talking, brings us for a moment, together, into a place beyond words, a place that is open, pregnant with presence, alive, natural, peace full.
The wise bridesmaids in Jesus’ story aren’t heartless because they won’t give oil to the foolish for their lamps. It’s not that they won’t but simply that they can’t. The oil in their lamps is the oil of prayer. It comes in the silence, over the years, the silence of a soul opened, beyond remembrance, beyond petition or righteous thought, into which steps the bridegroom,

“I know you”.

 

The Woman of God

•November 8, 2017 • Leave a Comment

adaptation of poem by Rumi

Warrior Woman Silhouette

 
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