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Random Theological Thoughts

The Bible (Which is a profoundly human book through which the Sacred sometimes shines through)

I would suggest that much of what we struggle with
Comes because of the way we treat the Bible

People make it a new idol
In trying to endow it with respect
In trying to respect its power
The make it a book which must, in all its parts
Be “true” in the most rigid sense of the world

The Bible is true
It is a true record of our attempts to understanding
This something greater, something bigger than ourselves
It is the record of humanities progressive journey
To “find love”
To “find God”
A search many of us believe reach a unique place
When Jesus arrived

And love lived
And died

But the Bible is not just a sacred book
It is also human book
full of the writings of the spiritually young
who only partly understood

I mean look at them
David, who had man killed in order to take the man’s wife
Solomon and his love of money and things
The psalmists, who wished destruction on their enemies
Paul who was nothing if not a hater
Peter was just such and idiot at times

all struggling with life
and struggling to understand God
and sometimes, really getting it
and sometimes?

somehow there is truth here
I believe that

But what this book shares is the story


with all the confusion
at times immaturity
that comes with being human

the book shares the story
of a search for this something
we call God

it wanders and meanders
sometimes it pulls us into the muck
sometimes it carries us to the heights

the book is
us standing naked before God
seeking to find
“the way”

and in our most mature moments
we must remember

God is love

and love would rather die
than go down the path of hate
and judgment
and exclusion
we so often take
love’s name

love would rather die
so says
this book
How we live in the world

The basic concept is simple
Jesus articulated it his own unique way
Both in his words and in his life

But it is at the heart of most spirituality
We are not so much individuals
As part of a whole

We participate in something bigger
Something pervasive and foundational

Some of us call this “God”
Some call it “Love” (which is pretty much the same thing)

So each person, fundamentally, is sacred
Each person come from the Sacred
And carries the Sacred

That Presence (Christians call it the Spirit)
Is active, pervasive, and when “awake”
Changes everything

The way we see, think, feel, and yes
And yes
And yes
And yes

The Sacred is not selective
There is no privileged race
Orange blonde people are not uniquely blessed
Nor are White blondes
Nor are the rich, the powerful, the affluent

All are Sacred
All are Sacred Children

Which is why Jesus implied that we should see the Sacred in everyone
Even those who are poor, hungry, naked, homeless, oppressed,
Perhaps especially those who are poor, hungry, naked, homeless, oppressed

These are not to be shamed

These are to be treasured

That young black man on the street, sacred
That brown family on the border, sacred
That child in a cage, sacred
That person muttering to himself on the sidewalk, sacred
That one lying drunk in a doorway, Sacred

When we deny that they are Sacred
When we refuse to act with compassion and generosity toward them
We deny our own sacred nature

For we cannot abuse the vulnerable without crushing the sacred within ourselves.
Each time we act to oppress and disrespect,
Each time we act out of hatred, or greed
Each time we deny another healthcare, or food, or housing, or safety
Each time we create a hostile environment and minimize and marginalize another
Each time we engage in cruelty
We crush a bit of ourselves
We diminish ourselves

Until there is nothing left inside
We are an empty shell

And no amount of religious practice
No number of trips to the communion table
And no amount of power
Not even the Presidency

Can make us real again

Only love can do that
Love received, and love given

The solution for Mr Trump
Is for him to go to a soup kitchen on the border, and serve immigrant people
With sincerity and authenticity

Perhaps the solution for me
Is to cook breakfast for the local GOP meeting
And do so with compassion and acceptance

It appears that finding Jesus
Is radical work indeed
How Do I See God

Why did Jesus come? Jesus did not come to change the mind of God about humanity. It didn’t need changing. God has organically, inherently loved what God created from the moment God created it. Jesus came to change the mind of humanity about God.

As our image of God changes, our image of God’s creation, including ourselves, changes as well.
Richard Rohr, Daily Blog, 1/4/17
How do I see the Sacred?
That’s a tough question

Where do I see the Sacred?
Even tougher.

But the answer to the second question profoundly shapes
my answer to the first!

I do find God in the writings of people from days gone by
in the Bible, yes
In the realization that in Genesis one, as the Sacred views
Creation God says, over and over again,
“It was good” even “It was very good”

If find God in the words of the angels at Christmas
Where it is proclaimed that God is sending a gift to human
“with whom God is pleased” (yes, it really says that!)

I see God in other writings too
The words of people like Thich Naht Hanh
And Francis of Assisi, and in the glorious poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins

I see God in frigid winter mornings
As the snow sparkles like jewels
And in the warm summer mornings as the sun blazes orange
It see Sacred Presence in the gold tamaracks, nestled among the deep green
of firs and pines

I see it in a horse leaping
a cat playing

I hear the sacred in Coyotes laughing and Owls
Hooting in the dark.

And I believe, thus
In Sacred as Love
And believe in original blessing
That we were created good, and loving and kind

And I believe, that as we connect with Sacred Presence
We can return to what we were created to be
No matter how far we have strayed

And if I believe that God loves me
And if I believe that God loves you
And it I believe we all carrying original blessing

Then I must be changed

And no matter how easy it is to move to fear
And anger
Not matter how easy it is to believe in wealth and power

I must always return
Again and again
To love
And forgiveness
And compassion
And generosity

Evil is challenging, as I don’t know what to do with it
I struggle with those who chose power and wealth over people

But I must return to love
And I must work, not to accept evil
Or collude with it

But to fight it
with the tools of love

Review & Commentary