Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Unconditional Faith and Love

"I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me. To a nation that did not call on my name, I said, `Here am I, here am I.’”
- Isaiah 65:1

When I am mysteriously drawn to meditate on passages like these I realize very deeply in my whole being that Christianity is so much in need of restoration in the eyes of the world. 

The Bible, and the beauty of its poetry and symbolism revealing the mysteries of life, has been hi-jacked by those who would seek to hold tightly and exclusively the gifts that are freely given from the very heart of the source of divine love.

I wrestle daily with my spiritual life. I find myself crying out to God with the same intensity with which I used to deny God’s very existence.

Of course, it is most likely that God as a separate entity does not exist in human terms - but that rather God IS existence itself.

How does one recognize something that one has never seen before? It can only be in reference to what is already known. To seek God is pointless - for God cannot be found anywhere but here, now and forever. To seek God is to be defeated by the illusion that life is lived separate from the universe. In fact, life is entirely interdependent with all of reality.

God is not where I am not. Likewise I am not where God cannot reach me - ever…..

God reveals God wherever life is lived in interdependent relationship with all things.

Logic and reason often strip me of my faith - as if they are enemies. But in reality, logic and reason can only come from a strong faith in potentiality. To reason that there is no God is to deny that anything beyond my understanding could exist. Like a person blind from birth can have no experiential concept of the subtlety of colors, so can we as limited beings have no direct experiential concept of God.

Enlightenment or awakening cannot be new experiences - but rather the immediate understanding of that which is always here - that which we seek has never been lost.

“Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.”
- Isaiah 65:24

Christianity is not human beings calling out to God for salvation - but rather the realization that salvation was never lost. We are never lost in the care of the Divine Shepherd - the Divine Shepherd knows all of the sheep by name. The Divine Shepherd goes after the sheep - but doesn’t follow them - because the sheep are never out of sight.

Christianity is not creeds or dogmas bleated out by sheep - but rather the complete surrender to the fulness of life that is always, already the case. There is no need to ask for forgiveness - there is only the acceptance and sharing of its depth with all of life.

Truth does not need to be understood to be real. The reality of new life in Christ is a simple acceptance or surrender, and not a gain in intellectual power. It is not to know something new - but rather to be aware of the timelessness of God’s incarnation.

Jesus was born into humanity at a point in time - but his entrance opened the portal of timelessness. This is part of the mystery of the Eucharist or Communion. When we participate in this sacramental practice we are entering the very life of the Divine as it is happening eternally without end.

When we use the word “worship” we often think of it as singing or chanting in praise of God. But worship is not just those things - they are part of the expression of worship, but worship is the re-presenting of the mystery of God’s incarnation on earth. The blending of time and timelessness. When we gather as like minds in worship we are participating in the eternal worship of God that is the work of Angels and Saints. We are transformed by the very presence of Christ in our midst.

Being a follower of Christ is to be committed to practicing the awareness of the eternal presence of God in the timeless reality that underlies all of life. To be near to God is to be far from all that is contrary to life.  What a privilege to be a citizen of eternity. 

Could it be argued that God’s presence can be experienced outside the Christian Faith? Of course, God’s grace is showered on all beings. But, there is more opportunity to experience and participate in the grace and blessings inside the membership of the earthly Church because it has been a primary vehicle of God’s grace for over 2,000 years. I’m home when I go there and fed when I partake of the Eucharist.

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