What If Abraham Had Told God No

What if Abraham had told God no,
I will not sacrifice my only son
Would God still have provided the sacrifice

Did Abraham prove his faith,
At the sacrifice of his love
Or was the proof of his faith,
The sacrifice of his love

But his love for whom,
For his God
Or for his son

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Transcending/Revealing Love

When you are born into a biological family, there is a built-in component of love.

When you are born into a church family there is a command to love one another.

When you become a  friend in the sense that Jesus called his disciples friends it transcends both the biological component and the command to love.

  • It is something that truly transcends all other love and it is through those relationships that the essence and foundation of the way that God would have to love is truly revealed. 

Love itself ultimately transcends both the biological urge and  command to love…

Some Thoughts on Life and Love

Through the mother’s womb life and love are born.

Through the living out of that life love is precariously formed.

Through the command of God to love our life is indeed laid bare.

Through the consummation of that love we are shown how to truly care. 

From the beginning to the end it is life and love that we are called to share.

A few notes:

Love both forms us and transforms us.

Love moves from mystery to reality and back to mystery.

A Piece of Me Died Today…

I struggle with life and death on a daily basis, but maybe not in the sense you may think. I am a battler of depression and have been since my teenage years. I find it hard to maintain an even keel  these days, but yet I lay down and I go to sleep and wake up the next day, being  thankful  for the rest and the life of the new day, knowing that a piece of me will die today.

One of the passages of scripture that guides and helps me live within my struggles is 1Corinthians 12:25-27 -(referring to the body of Christ, which is the community of the Church)

…that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.  If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

As you can see, its members care for one another, they not only rejoice, but also suffer together, lessening both the burden of suffering and mellowing the joy of rejoicing, bringing us back to a more even keel, a more solid ground, a place of enduring peace.

A piece of me died today, but that is no grave concern of mine, my concern lies more deeply with the soul of the other within whom a piece of them has also died. Being faithful Presence for them and sharing in their suffering so that I can  also share in their joy and just maybe share with them peace as well. Oh divine law of reciprocity the wonders you do work in the life of mankind, Father breathe into us your life-giving Spirit.

For not only has a piece of me died, but so also has a piece of my brother died as well.

And also in our dying to self, oh giver of life, you promise to breathe in us the Spirit that gives each of us life, life that not only draws us closer to you for today but also for all eternity.

A piece of me died today and I am thankful.

The Presence of God in “The Beatitudes”

The Presence of God is with the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
The Presence of God is with those who mourn, for they are comforted.
The Presence of God is with those who are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
The Presence of God is with those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
The Presence of God is with the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
The Presence of God is with those who are pure in heart, and they shall see Him.
The Presence of God is with the peacemakers, and they shall be called His sons.
The Presence of God is with those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
The Presence of God is with you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

I believe at times that we have a hard time teaching, explaining or even understanding what “The Beatitudes” from Matthew 5: 3-12 mean. In the light of “The Sermon on the Mount” from Matthew 5 – 7, I created this paraphrase to help me to understand them; my hope is that it will help others as well. This is in no way intended to change the words of Jesus; it is only a way of explaining them that I believe will be beneficial to others.

Being Restored

I have sought through the years for both understanding and forgiveness.
Then I woke one morning and realized that both were already mine.

I searched and sought after a place to go and realized that I was already there.

Through tears though, sometimes my eyes were blinded.
Through those same tears though, things were also washed clean.
I see things more clearly now than I ever have before.

Those tears I shed, I have come to realize, were yours, and through those tears I have gently been restored.

In the end comes restoration, something we are both meant to do.

Each day I know this process starts anew.

A Place Called Somber

Somber:  solemn, grave, serious, toned-down, subdued.

These words are all synonyms that I found for the word “somber” when I looked it up in the thesaurus, their were some others that indicated a much more intense meaning, but this subdued list will work for my purposes here.

The line between despair and hope is a very thin and fragile line for me.

Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.

Psalm 42:5 & 11 and 43:5

 

Some days I have a really hard time responding to the question posed in this verse, at least in the same way that the psalmist does here. I think that is easy for you (the psalmist) to say, but honestly some days I am just not there, because on many days I find myself on the despair side of that thin, fragile line between despair and hope. Sure I have many days where I am on the hope side of that line as well. My problem lies though in the fact that I indeed spend all or most of my time on one side of that line or the other. Either in a state of despair or a state of hope, the lows of despair can drag me down into a state of utter depression and the highs of hope can to a state of extreme joy. While some may say that is just the way life works, it really does not “work” that well for me at all, these dramatic swings wear me out physically, emotionally and spiritually. I am left so tired that there are days when I can barely function, so I either work at staying in a  state, of despair or hope, because the swing in the other direction in tearing me apart. When I am sad I battle with the idea of staying sad, saying it is just so much easier to stay here than to deal with the extreme swing into hope and joy. On the opposite side, once I am experiencing that state of hope and joy, I almost immediately try to quench it or put it out so that it does not become too high, so that my fall will not be too hard.

So I work really hard at staying on that thin, fragile line between despair and hope, for me it has become a place called somber, a place without highs or lows where I find myself more at peace, more able to cope from moment to moment, from day to day.

Because I know that there will inevitably be times where those swings which cause me so much pain will happen, for that is life. But if  today I seem to be a bit somber to you, know that I am at home, in my place called somber and there I am at peace.

I looked into her eyes

Do you remember the day that you looked into the eyes of your bride and told her that you would love her forever? After 32 years, I still look into the eyes of my bride and remember that promise, along the way though I have seen a number of different looks in her eyes as she has looked back at me; I have seen anger, and joy, heartache and sorrow, pain and pleasure, wonder and puzzlement, yes even disappointment and despair, sometimes those looks were fleeting and sometimes they seemed to linger much longer than I would have liked. The good I wanted to linger and the bad I hoped would be fleeting. The look that I remember most though is the one from March 15th, 1980. It is the lens through which all the other looks are seen, when I look into her eyes today I still see those eyes that I saw then and I remember the promise that I made to her that day; to love her forever and I do and I will.