“God is with us in our horror, our terror, our violence, and our suffering. God refuses to add to the evil and violence, but instead responds with vulnerable, compassionate love. That’s how God wins.” –Marcus Borg “How to win” seems to dominate our attention be it sports, business, war, politics, an argument, or just in general the game of life. We all want to be happy, successful, secure, significant, competent, in control, and affirmed. These are not bad in and of themselves but when “winning” these becomes our emotional program for happiness, we are headed for trouble. The cross
Job spoke, saying: Is not man's life on earth a drudgery? Are not his days those of hirelings? He is a slave who longs for the shade, a hireling who waits for his wages. So I have been assigned months of misery, and troubled nights have been allotted to me. If in bed I say, "When shall I arise?" then the night drags on; I am filled with restlessness until the dawn. My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle; they come to an end without hope. Remember that my life is like the wind; I shall not see
The spiritual life is not easy. Our false self does not go down without a fight, and one to the death. This is a really inconvenient battle to wage when it is challenging enough to just live life. Who really knew what we were signing up for in following Jesus and taking this journey seriously? Who really knew that the path would evolve and feel more like death and descent? The One Who guides us knows. Others who have gone before know. Be encouraged by the following quote from Joseph Benner an American Protestant mystic who seems to know.
“And who is he sir, that I may believe in him? Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you. He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshipped him.” - John 9:36-38 This past Sunday’s gospel reading from John 9:1-41 featured a beautiful and comical account of a man born blind healed by Jesus. The disciples inquired as to whether this man sinned or his parents so as to cause his malady. Jesus corrected their bad theology by saying his infirmity wasn’t divine retribution but divine opportunity for God to be
“When she transformed into a butterfly, the caterpillars spoke not of her beauty, but of her weirdness. They wanted her to change back into what she always had been. But she had wings.” —Dean Jackson God’s first revelation is nature. In nature’s cycles of life, death, and rebirth we see the gospel in action right in front of us. Our spiritual journey is no different, we must journey through stages of order, disorder, and reorder. The journey of Jesus was meant to be followed and not just worshipped. Leaning into our own order, disorder, and reorder while trusting the
“When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he said, ‘Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it.’ –Genesis 28:16 Jacob was on the run from his brother who wanted to kill him. Jacob whose name means ‘deceiver’ had maneuvered himself into the patriarchal blessing and birthright by tricking his Dad and also taking advantage of his brother. As he was fleeing and making his way to his Uncle’s house he stopped to rest. It was in this vulnerable and exposed ‘in between space’ that he had a fantastic dream and awoke to his conclusion that
Jeremiah 20:7 (ESV) 7 O Lord, you have deceived me, and I was deceived; you are stronger than I, and you have prevailed. I have become a laughingstock all the day; everyone mocks me. This is not what the prophet Jeremiah signed up for. He was doing everything he thought he was supposed to be doing. He was following God. He was getting pounded in the process. I love Jeremiah’s unabashedly bold and emotional words of honesty. It is one thing to feel that Satan has deceived you but God? Wow. This is