Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Daddy cleans up the mess

God is chalk full of surprises.  The question is - are we able to see?  Faith development, spiritual growth is just that – it is process not a one hit wonder – not a magic pill.  It isn’t magic in that way.  I have a pretty dramatic and radical experience of the divine.  In many ways it looks to many, and at times even to myself as if I suddenly went from being broken, abuse victim with a hole in my soul – to having an experience or encounter with the sacred that made me whole - an now life is good, wonderful, prosperous etc.   I call this “don’t worry be happy” theology.  My life sucked, took the Jesus pill, now life is full of sweetness, light and delight.  I’m diabetic so sugar is not my friend – now what?

Last week we took a bit of the proverbial apple of knowledge.  Only to discover how good we had it before we knew how good we had it.  Snap the shit just got real.  In discovering the questions and exploring the infinite possibilities we find ourselves playing in the mud.  The consequences to which can bring benefit or destruction.  The earth brings many healing properties and the minerals found in the land are also found in our own bodies and need to be replenished.  Making mud pie can be fun.  Mud also can contain harmful parasites that invade & kill our bodies.  After playing in the mud it is always good to shower or bath and change.

So once again we discover death by knowledge.  Except didn’t we say Jesus was the resolution.  Now we can be clear – perhaps.  Jesus dies for sin, is then raised again – to/for what?  “Jesus saves”  “Jesus died for you”  “Jesus forgives you.”  Saves? – from what or why not prevent?  Died for me? – how does Jesus dying have anything to do with me?  Forgives? – for what being born – deciding to be tortured by the people responsible for taking care of me?  After a child plays in the mud a nurturing parent helps to clean the child, teaches the child how to clean up after themselves, and mops up what the child missed & provides a clean outfit.  And soon they move on to a new activity – how about playing with the crayons.

And so out of the grave Jesus comes to play.  He has handed me a new set of crayons, and given me the choice of a number of ways to use them, in coloring books those where the pictures have rigid lines, and those that the edges aren’t so clear, all the way to blank sheets of paper to create something original.   The picture that is in my imagination  is fluid, full of depth, texture, color, vibrancy and contrasting elements of light & dark, fire & water, earth & sky.  I’m not sure even the piece of paper is enough – what if I want to color on the wall – it could use some color.  I think crushing a little sand into the paper would give it texture don’t you?  Uh-oh – I just ripped the paper.  Oh – look over there paint – how about a mural.  Yea – a mural of depicting the spirit of my favorite healing plant - cannabis.  Oh – set in a party celebrating the resurrection.  Oh- wait what if I painted it on the side of the church building. 

Jesus has a box of colors for you and wants to play.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Death by knowledge

Yesterday began Holy Week for the Christian tradition.  No matter which version/expression of the church you hail from – the core of Christian faith is centered on Jesus and his trip through the cross.  To the logical the whole thing is rather nonsensical or as sacred text states it – “foolishness.”  To those in the church – well sometimes we get caught up in the details – usually the ones that are specific to supporting our general perspective of the whole thing and how to make that makes us – or more to the point make you - behave.  We’ve been arguing from day one what really happened – didn’t happen – who’s responsible – and finding ways to make it look like we are on the “right” side of the equation.  We draw our lines in the sand and say “red rover red rover come on over – if you think it - believe it - behave it the way I do – come over – otherwise keep your shit to yourself.”  

Then came the divisions, public & private, councils, creeds, those included those excluded, buildings built to worship in which cry out – your not welcome “if.”  In our attempts to define, refine, explain, justify, prove that which cannot be proven – we judge, tear down, condemn and sadly we have even used it to justify our violence, killing and wars. Theology calls that the use of the Law.  Martin Luther referred to it as what God uses to drive us into his loving arms.   I call it “behavior management.”  “I AM” calls it death.

And therein lays the clue to the trouble – knowledge – the more we think we know the more we try to nail it down, explain it, and prove it – and the pattern repeats & continues.  Every damn time we think we have it figured out something happens to fuck it up.  Look at the stories – two versions of creation.  Tower of Babel – if God is so jealous – insecure – you’d think it was a requirement to have humanity actually come together to accomplish such a feet in an attempt to connect.   The story of Israel freed from Egyptian slavery.  Jerusalem – from day one to the present - need I elaborate?  I easily get caught up in and distracted by the details – they can be helpful in clueing us into the big picture – but when we get stuck on them we perpetuate - in action - what is at the core of the problem – “original sin” – in traditional language.   So let us go back to the beginning – perhaps we can explore and in the exploration discover a bit of truth.

In the beginning nothing was – “I AM” – starts making shit happen, creating, playin in the elements – makin mud pie.   "I AM" - no gender attached in the language - creates the "dirt being" then gives it the power of co-creating through "naming" of the creatures...looking for a natural partner - when none is to be found - one is drawn out of the "dirt being" = man "out of dirt being" = woman.. I AM says it’s all good - now I got this shit – all you gotta do is steward – tend to, nurture, care for what is - you can do anything you want - EXCEPT - there is a tree over here - called knowledge - trust me you don't want to eat it - to do so will cause death -(now remember there are many forms of death).  The phrase “ignorance is bliss” has its origins – I’m just sayin.  What is at stake is that we are given the choice to trust that I AM got’s this shit under control - or attempt to do things for ourselves – oops

And Jesus was the solution and resolution - not heaven - heaven is icing on an already fabulous cake...Jesus is the repair that we could not make through knowledge...The story continues next week…Don’t you just hate waiting for the sequel?