We are accountable to each other. God created us to be in community and to be unified – one with God and one with each other. Not identical, not doing ministry in the same way, but at one with who God made us to be and live out of that strength, leading and moving with dignity: knowing our worth, knowing the worth of those who lead and move and live beside us, with us.
Transformation in the spiritual life is experiential and perpetual. It is a verb. An occurrence, and ongoing. It is not a one-and-done this side of glory.
“As long as you do not have experience of this dying and becoming, you are only a troubled guest on this dark earth.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Sometimes faith is believing that you are enough, that I am enough – believing that God’s love is the only true standard – and that if I fall short in loving others (or even myself), God’s love has covered even that. Because, you know, grace.
Faith gives us the courage to be vulnerable.
God promised that this new covenant will mean that every bit of who God is and God’s intention for creation will already be writ large on their hearts. This hope is timeless. As it was for the Israelites, so it is for us. Faith is what got them through it all, and it is faith that moves us now.
We can be fewer in number, decreasing in mobility and endurance – and permeate the community, disciple with nothing but who we are. And that is enough. Because God alone, is enough.
It requires a fair amount of faith to live in unity, with a bond of peace. We must believe there is “one body and one Spirit, … called to the one hope … one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.” It is communion; it is the disciple’s communion. It is active faith – not unthinking, holding to some literalism that creates a fissure between us – but genuine, ‘working out our faith’ (Phil2:12) working hard at it, with even a bit of fear and trembling. For this kind of faith we must be gentle with each other and with ourselves, patient, bearing with each other in Love. Because those who love are born of God and know God. Those who don’t love – and it is easy to love those who love you, but Jesus says, “love your enemies too!” (Lk6:35) those who don’t love, don’t know God. Period. Because God. Is. Love.
The Japanese concept of ma – the sound of silence – is the silence that can be found between sounds. It is being present to the moment, attentive to the noises and sounds – and finding a sense of well-being, even joy, within it. It is only enjoyed, however, when there is true listening. Only when we pay attention to what we hear can we also detect the substance that is in the in between. Crucially, if I’m not listening and noticing those spaces, hearing into the nuance, the life contained with them, I “may indeed look, but not perceive, and may indeed listen, but not understand; . . . [and fail to] turn again and be forgiven.” Mk4:12. I may not turn to you and be reconciled, or truly understand from where you are coming . . . and alienate you.
When I look, actually see – because I’m not paying attention to you if I’m trying to say everything I want to make you understand – when I see you, I notice more about your expression, sense your presence. And it is powerful. This is what Jesus did. He went to the people – the outcasts, the immigrant, ones that made other people uncomfortable – Jesus went to the people and listened. He noticed the sick and healed them, he recognized the foreigner and offered acceptance, belonging. And Jesus said, “Follow me.”
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I wonder if the idea of changing our perspective on a matter – which previously we considered sinful (surely they’re going to hell for this) we might feel something like the sibling to the prodigal son. The sin of the prodigal son was not that he spent all his money. That he drank too much or ate more than he needed. It wasn’t even that he had sex with multiple women. The sin of the prodigal son was that he thought he didn’t need anyone else – or that anyone else counted on him. The prodigal son thought that all he needed was a bunch of money and to find all the ways he could be entertained, feel “good,” to live a full life. What God calls sin has nothing to do with whatever thing a person does, and everything to do with being in right relationship with one another and God, the dutiful son – doing all the “right” things – became indignant. When the dutiful son forgets that it has nothing to do with the things we do, per se, he becomes just as much the “sinner” as his brother. Not until he recognizes why he stays, what actually does belong to him – belonging itself, for one, and all the rights of an heir – then he too is reconciled with the father.
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Lin-Manuel Miranda is a modern-day prophet. He knows this country’s history and the constitution that supports it, and recognizes the beauty and potential the documents hold – and the abuses carried out in service to it. He tells it with culture-centric music styles, casting of diverse leading roles, humor and heartbreaking narrative. The prophet Hosea knows God and Israel’s history, and sees the abuses carried out in the name of religion, and tells the story through his own marriage – not much humor, probably no music, but definitely a lot of heartbreak.
Trust that while I no longer hold all the power, I also no longer hold all the responsibility – And no longer the only source of creative vision. So I must be willing to let go of some of my brilliant ideas and consider someone else’s perhaps more brilliant idea – even better, we collaborate, come up with something we would never have come up with on our own.
Others will only have opportunity to participate in leadership when those who occupy that leadership space move aside, give up that space or share it outright. Shared leadership only happens when it is shared.
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We’re four misfits who don’t belong together, we’re playing for the other misfits. They’re the outcasts, right at the back of the room. We’re pretty sure they don’t belong either. We belong to them.Freddie Mercury You are unique. I am unique. How can we think that it is a good thing to try and do…
Fathers, Sheer Silence, and Being King Of the Mountainhttps://eirenicole.com/wp-content/uploads/King-Of-the-Mountain.jpg25002000NicoleNicolehttps://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/59c708336b44c55aa93e8059ae098e96?s=96&d=monsterid&r=pg
https://eirenicole.com/wp-content/uploads/ep408-Fathers-Sheer-Silence-and-Being-King-Of-the-Mountain.m4a Fathers, Sheer Silence, and Being King Of the Mountain My husband, Howie, likes to ride his bike. He likes it so much that he will kit himself with all manner of spandex and glucose gel packs, and configure a route on his Garmin for sometimes 100 miles in a go. Apparently, there are quite…