Greetings fellow Network of Love Lovers!
Today we expect remarkable weather here in Chicago. Sunny, bright skies...surprise, surprise. I look forward to a "Waterloo Sunset," for any of you Kinks fans out there (band from the 1960s---before my time but music I really really enjoy).
"Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever disobeys the Son will not have life" (John, chapter 3, verse 36).
I start with this quote because it struck me this morning. It makes me uncomfortable when our faith becomes one of "insider" vs. "outsider." Those who believe get this. Those who don't get this.
God in the form of human person, Jesus, in a sense, deconstructs the binary oppositions of how we interpret commonly considered opposing terms like divine/person, real/unreal, mystery/reality, seen/unseen, life/death, etc. A never ending, eternal abyss of gray area, having been seated on earth, yet seated "at the right hand of God Creator," Jesus IS a person that helps our Spirit come to believe. And it can, and really must, be a constant search in trying to grasp the mystery of faith. Faith empowers us to "do something I could never do without faith," as Jesuit priest Mark Link writes. But it is something that we don't quite understand. We are in the process, as believers, of trying to understand. But we humbly accept that we can never attain a full realization.
As a Christian, one is baptized into the Christian faith. But this initial baptism points to a lifetime of constant renewal growth, development; we grow to try and better understand and live in harmony with, struggle with, wrestle with, but ultimately, in time, to be comfortable in and with our world and our self. All people of God, liberated by God as human person, can assist in the building of a kingdom of God dwelling on this earth. All of us who consider ourselves disciples of Jesus are called to commit to actively and continually search for ways to bring about the love and joy and peace that faith has granted us. It is in a spreading of the transforming ways of faith–in dialogue and friendship and love with all neighbors, that we might humbly bring about a world that sees eternal life as something real, something mysterious yet obtainable.
To paraphrase John 3:16, one of the most famous passages in the new testament: "For God so LOVED THE WORLD... that God gave us Jesus, a person living, breathing that we can learn from and we can believe in." It is in this image of God as Lover of the World that indefinite reconciliation seems a possibility. Even the greatest skeptic, the harshest critic of religion, of humanity, of the world, of life, is ultimately LOVED by God and, in turn, should be loved by us.
I fully understand that it is no easy task to love all people in our lives. But, I propose that faith empowers us to do something that we might never do without faith. For me, that faith comes through the life of Jesus, in God who became human person, who suffered, died and then rose to give us hope and greater faith in the possibilities inherent in this world. But it is only with searching, discerning hearts–––with compassion, open minds and open eyes, that we can hope to share in this faith. All of us our searching, no matter what we profess. I pray for all seeking, all journeying toward belief. May they be empowered! May faith become something that has no insiders and outsiders, knows no beginning or end. There is a beautiful gray area that transcends the limits of language. And in cultivating and resting in this area, we might just find God in those unspoken moments of our lives.
peace and blessings.
your friend bob : )