Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time. – Thomas Merton
Out In The Spirt was created as a place to explore and “locate points of connection with the sacred in our daily lives. . . through my own and other’s meditations, writings, and images, and the ever important input of you the reader” (see the first post ‘Reading The Book of The World’)
This a visual post, a painting I call “Let Justice Roll Down Like The Waters ” The title comes from the book of Amos 5:24. In that chapter, Amos writes that God cannot hear the prayers of a people who are not living out justice in their daily lives. Amos’ imagery creates the metaphor of justice being life giving the way a stream of water is life giving; “Let justice roll down like the watersand rightousness like an ever flowing stream.”
I tried to read the Sunday morning paper, but was so overcome with the horrors reported from all over the world, that I had to put the paper down. I sat, wondering why we are so focused on telling each other about all the negative things that happen in every distant place around the globe. Certainly the loving and positive things going on in the world far outweigh the negativity…”Dozens killed in a mall in Kenya”, but how many children were born, and lives saved through the miracle of modern medicine? “Assault on Funeral in Iraq Kills 96″…but how many families gathered and shared their love for their deceased? Millions of children are starving all over the globe, but where is it reported that so many more millions were fed, clothed, bathed and put to sleep by loving parents in safe homes?
Following media reports, would have us think that hate, chaos, and negativity rule the day. However, when we think of all the love and kindness that goes on around us every day, and understand that it happens all over the world, then it is easy to see that the love of God still rules the day. That’s the Good News!
Thank you God, for the love that you have placed inside us. Let us continue to know its source and share its power. Amen
During the last decade of the 19th century, a European college professor inquiring about Zen, visited a Japanese master. The master served tea, filling the professor’s cup full and kept pouring. The college professor watched the tea overflow the cup until he could no longer be quiet – “It’s overflowing, it’s full!”
“You are as full as this cup,” the master said, “full of yourself, your own opinions, and assumptions. Before you can begin to understand Zen, you must first empty your cup.”
Let’s read what the Zen Master said again, only this time replace the word Zen with God: “You are as full as this cup,” the master said, “full of yourself, your own opinions, and assumptions. Before you can begin to understand God, you must first empty your cup.”
Like the European college professor, we often go off looking only to confirm what we already believe. …
“We LGBTQ followers of Christ need to tell our stories of transformation that happened outside of religion. Sharing your story of finding Christ outside of the church that booted you out the door because of your sexuality, is best way to catch the attention of the “I don’t believe in organized religion” people.”
Sermon Mar 27, New Life MCC, Norfolk,VA
This is the last Sunday of Women’s History month and this in many ways is a woman’s text. For me to preach on today’s Gospel lesson is difficult, and in some ways altogether wrong.
As a man, I cannot possibly understand the feelings of a woman as an outcast. If anything, I a man represent most of which has held women on the outside.
This woman at the well, was dependent on a man for her identity as a human being. She is a woman who has…