Kingdom is a foreign term,
The metaphor of a different time.
It is so far removed from what I understand
That it no longer serves me well.
When I think of kingdom,
I think of coercion,
Absolute, immutable rule.
What if there were a different kind of kingdom –
Hidden in plain sight, growing up among us,
Tiny, at first, like a mustard seed?
What if it were a land of healing and hope,
Where little children, and prostitutes, eagerly lead the way?
It would be an upside down land,
Where the last come first
And every lost thing is found.
Camels and riches would make it hard to enter in,
For what is truly yours is what you give away.
It would be like living in a foreign land.
I’d need to learn its culture,
Change my currency.
I’d need a whole new language.
But, somehow, I know I would be home.
Do you think I could find asylum, there?
[photo by Don McCullough per cc 2.0]
What if, perhaps,
My arms, today,
Were meant to bring
God’s dear embrace
What if my smile
Was meant to show you
Just how much
Has blessed my own?
What if our lives
Could quietly reflect
God’s very being,
In this moment,
In this place?
[photo by Archigeek per cc 2.0]
Binocular vision helps us to see
That it takes more than one perspective
To really see well; to see with depth.
Yeah, me, too.
And, we, together … even more.
[photo by Thomas Hawk per cc 2.0]
In this strange universe,
It is the valence of relationships –
The rushing of electrons round the nucleus –
That holds all things together,
Even as it keeps them from collapsing in upon each other.
In such a universe as this,
Is it any wonder that the One God is a relationship –
An ever circling dance of love –
That both holds the whole and differentiates each part?
It is a wonder.
[image – By JC713 [MIT (http://opensource.org/licenses/mit-license.php)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons]
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
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]
Let us make humans in our image; according to our likeness – Genesis 1:26
Richard Rohr offers a nugget of understanding:
The image is Christ in me;
The likeness is how I live it out.
I like that – that I can somehow be like.
Then, I might actually like myself.
[photo Thomas Rousing by per cc 2.0]
Your words to me:
Ask, seek, knock.
So, what do I ask?
I ask to know You.
No small ask, for a small me.
Yet somehow I dare to hope
That it is your call
Echoing within me,
Evoking this desire.
Oh Holy One,
I ask to know you.
And what do I seek?
I seek a deeper understanding,
One centered in my heart
Rather than my head.
One that helps to anchor my soul
In a truth too big for explanation.
Big enough to lose myself,
So that I might be found.
Oh Holy One,
I seek understanding.
So where do I knock?
I knock on the door of your heart.
I knock on the side of the mountain.
I knock up against the daily news.
I knock on the walls of my cell.
I knock inside my skull.
Everywhere I turn,
Whatever I encounter,
Surely you are there,
Since you are everywhere,
And any doorway is a threshold
Oh Holy One,
[image edited from photo by Joanna Paterson per cc 2.0]