unnecessary crucifixion

crucifixion

Jesus did not come to change the mind of God about humanity – it did not need changing! Jesus came to change the mind of humanity about God.- Richard Rohr

Perhaps …
Could this be true?

The crucifixion was unnecessary.

God did not require it – we did.

It was not God who demanded sacrifice as the gateway to reconciliation.
God’s power to love and forgive was never held hostage to some cruel death.
Love has always been more powerful than sin.

We are the ones who required blood-sacrifice.
We believed so deeply that the price of sin was death
That we would not accept God’s love and reconciliation without it.

So, Christ, who came for reconciliation,
Who came to show us love,
Met our conditions.

God’s desire for relationship was so deep
That God yielded to our obstinate delusions
To prove in ways that only we demanded
The awesome, terrible depth of love.

God does not love us more – or less – because of the crucifixion.
But we can now accept forgiveness
And find a way to receive and return that love.

That is God’s desire – that we would love in return.

God will do whatever it takes to help us find the way to love.

[image cropped from a photo by Steve Snodgrass per cc 2.0]

hope is worth the risk

tenacious hope

Hope is worth the risk.
Just saying.

Even when the odds are low
And the world seems such a mess
And disappointment threatens
Hope, hope itself, is worth the risk.

It keeps the heart pumping
And the eyes open to what may come
And anticipates the sudden intake of breath
Brought by the delightful surprise
That is (hopefully) just around the corner.

Yes, hope is worth the risk.

And most especially when it is grounded
In resurrection –
The one that has happened
And the one that will happen, soon.

So … delight with me in the coming delight.
It’s ok.
Even disappointment cannot erase
The delight of sharing hope with you.

[photo by Alix May per cc 2.0]

the donkey

gentle donkeyI am back on the floor of the canyon and see the path as before. I begin, again, to walk the path, not sure where it is leading. I walk and walk, but I seem to make no progress. The scenery around me is so much the same, from step to step.

This sense of futile movement only increases as I enter a bank of fog. Indeed, I worry that I might inadvertently step off the edge of the trail and fall into a ravine. A sense of fear joins my sense of futility and I am tempted to stop altogether.

But then, I am joined on the path by a wise and gentle donkey, who just appears beside me, as I walk. His step is sure and he seems to know this path well. His presence strengthens me and quells my fear. It is good to have this bit of companionship. Occasionally I reach out to touch him; resting my hand upon his back as we walk; steadying my step.

I continue to doubt that I am making progress, but there is really nothing else I know to do but walk. And so we do. At last the donkey takes me to an overlook, where we can catch a larger view. To my surprise, we have actually progressed quite a long way from the floor of the canyon.

Later we stop to rest. I ask the donkey who he is – he is so wise and benevolent. His name, he says, is Jesus – and, indeed, he is.

I am mortified that my meditation has cast him as a donkey. But he only smiles: that is the best I can do right now, and he does not despise the role. He is willing to lead me through the canyon and carry my burdens. Someday I will grow to the point where he is no longer a donkey.

4/28/82

[photo by Laura Wolf per cc 2.0]

the blessing of the song

sparrow's songMay you find the melody your heart was made to sing this day
May it flow softly, surely, out into the world
Giving hope those who wander close enough to hear.

May your soul know its part within the whole,
The part that makes it whole,
And sees that wholeness glistening in others.

May you wake beside your dearest love
And see them smiling at the sight of you
And feel their love enfold you.

May you hear the melody of God’s own dear song
Playing in harmony with yours
As it opens your ears to the symphony of life.

May it grace your way
And fill your day
With deepest healing and abiding joy.

[photo by Mark Moschell per cc 2.0]

at the edge

old engraving of the reality beyond - the 'flammarion'Sometimes my mind seems to flicker
At the very edges of a new reality.
Ideas blink on and off,
Just out of reach.
A new fragrance hangs in the air.
An almost melody calls my heart.

The old understandings
Now fall like a chiffon drape
Ruffling in the wind
Across the window of my imagination.
What once seemed solid and sure
Is revealed as a faded fabric
Filtering the light.

Thomas Kuhn would speak of a paradigm shift:
The unmaking and remaking of foundational frameworks.
But the image I feel
Is that of walking through a series of veils,
Hanging on a line to dry.
Each reveals, even as it hides.
Each gives way to another.

Or, instead, I begin to catch the threads
As they unravel from an old tapestry.
I find that they can be rewoven into a blanket.
Beautiful and new, it covers all.
It holds fresh stories
Not painted on its surface
But cuddled in its folds.

[public domain image, drawn from wikipedia]

beyond

universe in a water dropOf course we use metaphors.
Of course we try to understand the ineffable.
Of course we fall short.
Of course we try again.

Can you explain beauty
Or describe love?
It is all so marvelously immense.

I’m grateful – no thrilled –
To be a tiny part of a universe
That is so far beyond my grasp
And so filled with wonder
And so deeply interwoven.

I’ll never understand.
Isn’t that grand?

[photo by Andrew Kuznetsov per cc 2.0]