- March 20, 2018
- March 13, 2018
Sunday at 2 a.m. Daylight Saving Time for 2018 started! “Spring Forward” one hour may allow us to make better use of longer afternoon sunlight. So, DST started to make better use of natural energy; perhaps increased driving safety and provided a better quality of life for those working the normal eight hour work day.
But, the benefits from DST depended on how humans managed this time—as with the benefits of anything. Highest quality life is and has always been God’s benefit for humans! But that depended on that which we humans did with life. Highest quality life or Eternal life was Jesus’ goal for teaching the importance of serving one another. Jesus taught that God created all humans needy AND with the need to be needed. Indeed, he said that need is where God, he called Agape-type Love, is best experienced. Love stimulated the desire to attempt to meet need. I have recently suggested that it was the first four fishermen apostle’s experience of same NEED of Jews and Gentiles for food (fish) that planted the idea in the four that Jews and Gentiles were more alike than dissimilar, contrary to the teaching of current Temple leaders. Surely, the fishermen’s personal experience made them question this prejudice. Thus, when a religious teacher named Jesus (also a Galilean) made their acquaintance, saying that as God’s chosen people they should do that which their personal experience taught them, they “quickly” (as the text says) left their fishing nets to become fishermen of men of both Galileans and Jews by announcing this transforming conclusion. In many ways life suddenly became less internally and externally stressful. Jesus’ teaching fit that which their personal experience authenticated as real! Jesus made more human and humane sense!
Jesus, a religious man, gave them religious justification and authority for that which their personal experience indicated to them. It made more sense to live a better life and helped to transform their inner and interpersonal social conflicts from antipathy to empathy. At least it made their lives less internally contentious, even if everyone didn’t agree with them. They began to feel freer, more joyous, serene and more authentically human and humane. Their inner experience was that which Moses verbally heard said from the burning bush as God’s “handle” to identify God. God is “existence” by which one is warmed-but-not-consumed—as prejudice consumes. Indeed, just as satisfaction with DST always depend on what we do with the need for more sunlight, as did the apostle’s satisfaction depend on whether they embraced Jesus’ confirmation of Jews and Gentiles both being needy. Today, many are increasingly finding LGBTQ persons just as needy as all persons, thus lowering their fear and prejudice! True Divine reality may “burn, but not destroy” until we hear Jesus confirming God’s diverse, yet humane reality! Well?
- March 6, 2018
The month of March is known for its wind! At least symbolically, blowing away the snow covered frozen hard winter ground, making way for powerful, penetrating spring rains to resurrect long hibernating life. But I don‘t recall such a long period of continuous “angry” wind, absent the rain of a hurricane, than the wind of the last week! The damage was spotty, but fierce, as if some angry force was executing punishment on some and skipping others, up and down the north eastern coastland, like the Hebrew’s God inflicting horror on Egypt’s first born sons of the Exodus saga. People who discount scientist’s publications of climate change are fooling themselves! Refusal to use one’s God-given intellectual capability for critical observation and deduction finds one in dangerous company of chosen ignorance. The earth is like a man yelling “fire” in a theater, with viewers turning up the volume of the film to drown out the warning.
This is either the result of chosen head-in-the-sand ignorance; dependency on imperial supernatural divine intervening last minute salvation; faulty Biblical proof-texting quoting God never to get angry enough again to destroy human life, as at the Flood; or unbridled capitalism promising success to the greatest accumulators of material wealth. Remember, some current leaders are bragging they “love money” ignoring its cost to those by which they acquired it. They ignore: “the love of money is the root of all evil”!
These priorities contradict the way we are originally “wired”, not to live most fully by dominant power, but by the power of one-on-one service, using each person’s gifts, for the common “good” and inner sense of authentic life. The Apostle Paul wrote no power excels better than Agape need-serving power. We all die and not one of us can take that which we accumulate with us. All that our human experience can rightfully persuade us is our accumulation is left behind us to our fellow man to struggle, as should we, to build, “a life on earth as it is in heaven (from the Lord’s Prayer)”. If I ponder critically rewards being after physical death, my thinking easily becomes more about egotistic unholy “accumulation” rewards from a rewarding power after the fashion of a kingly, dominant power, rather than that of an incarnate Agape-type love-power God, who is about “serving” others, and fulfilling us as God designed. Think about it!
What makes the balance easy to tip in the unholy direction is that we humans can hold two opposing ideas at the same time. This drives us crazy until we are forced by physical death to face the unchangeable consequences of our decisions. Until death, we can rationalize the ideas of selfish accumulation and selfless distribution (serving) at the same time. We can unless we get tired of rationalizing or waiting for death to decide for us that a life of distributive serving is more trustworthy and indestructibly enhancing, than is a life of fear pushing us to maintain our destructible accumulations. Yes, rewards of trust and fear can exhaustingly co-exist, but only until one decides which is most enhancing, yes, even about global climate change “blowing” us both physically and emotionally with unusually strong winds. Instead, didn’t God create us to feel joy and peace when we act consistent with God’s designed best selves by serving one another, rather than by trying to excel over one another? Are you yet feeling the joy and peace of authentic life? Only serving does that! Well?
- February 27, 2018
As Pam shared this dining encounter growing out of the sudden, yet surprising NEED of the toddler and the need of adults to be needed and to meet needs, it began to occur to me and Pam that the event was an experience of God, even literally WITH “a child leading them” to exist, in the moment, as God intends! Pam and I recalled that the Gospel writer referred to Jesus’ way of being with one another, as Emanuel, “God with us”! Oh, and none of this happened in a “church” building, but in God’s larger, real house, the whole earth—the universe!
This led us to discuss a conversation I had recently about the criticality of the institution of church and its facilities that absorb huge amounts of human time and money. Someone stated for the rest of us, “Without the church, who then would propagate the Gospel and guarantee its accuracy?” With Pam, I asked, hasn’t that always been God’s job? Didn’t God take care of that by making humans NEEDY and CURIOUS, so that when they “drifted” from designed existence they might be lured back to it? This design happened long before the institutional church! Aren’t we drawn together over NEEDS (like at the diner) to be our truest and best selves? God did this before a church existed. Would Jesus create an institution like that which killed him? Instead, didn’t he walk and dine among people to resurrect God’s designed spiritual presence of Agape NEED-triggered serving love, so people experience their designed “originality” and celebrate its joy and peace even with strangers, to become friends, in a diner, even? Wasn’t Jesus’ method the resurrection of God’s original serving human design? Is church really within us? Well?