Sunday, November 27, 2011

Advent=Reboot me

This is the beginning of Advent.  So what does Advent mean?
According to the dictionary it means coming, arrival of an important person, event or thing.
La llegada de una persona notable, cosa or evento.
Why did the people in the time of Christ need Him?  Why do we need Christ?
The world had fallen into darkness – the only thing left was rules and laws…there was no Spirit, no more hope, no more Love…only rules.
Isaiah says we don’t understand who God is or why He does the things he does. BUT WE KNOW that we can trust that if we get on the wrong course, God is the One to whom we must turn to straighten our path, to get us back on the right path.
Advent is like a reset – What happens when my computer locks up?  I kick it/throw it across the room, I get mad…and then finally I simply restart it… I hit the reset button.
Advent for the Jewish world in Jesus’ time was the start, I mean it was the beginning of a brand new world order.  It was the beginning of a new Kingdom…God was hitting the reset button and setting things right once and for all with the coming of Christ. 
God was saying “the Kingdom of God is coming to Earth – You’ve missed it all these years, you’re off course and I’m here to set it back on course…to point you in the right direction again…
This is NOT Jesus just coming here and fixing everything – This isn’t heaven on earth in an instant, all sunshine and lollypops…this is a rescue for us.  Like a rescue from a desert island.  When you get rescued, you aren’t home yet…you still have a journey to get to where you are going.  But thank God, you are on the rescue ship.
Advent for us is like the ship coming by the island.  Finally we can get back to the start of the journey…and what journey are we on?  We are on our journey to the Kingdom of God.  But not a Kingdom in some far away land…a Kingdom that is on our earth that starts with a change in our hearts and grows out of who God makes us to be.  It always starts within us…with us.
If you are like me, you started here last year.  Advent was a time to remember again why we do what we do.  It was a time to wake up and realize that the priorities that were so clear at Christ’s birth in Advent 2010 and Christmas 2010 are now so far and distant from where we wanted our lives to be NOW in 2011.  It’s time for us to reboot.
In the time of Christ…33, 34, 35 AD it must have been so clear to the followers of Christ that they were in the midst of a big change.  It was even clear to the religious leaders of the day…the Pharisees and Sadducees and even to the Romans because they all worked so hard to fight against the change that Jesus was calling for. 
Even now, our own hearts cry out NO NO…No more change.  STOP…I don’t want to give up my life as it is.  I don’t what to put God first.  I don’t want to give up control…not matter if I feel in control or not…I can’t trust God.  I can’t really give myself over to Christ and HIS ways.
Mark says it so well at the beginning of his gospel:
“The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God…”  The beginning…in other words, this is where it all starts…it starts by us recognizing that a change is coming.  But we can’t just recognize that Jesus is coming and that is it…we are called to more…We are called to begin a journey with Christ…and that journey starts back at the beginning…when Christ first comes to earth to show us His love and how we need to live like Him…
Mark goes on in the gospel to say… “I will send a messenger ahead of you a voice calling, ‘prepare the way for the Lord, make straight the paths for Him!’”
But what paths is Mark talking about?  The paths Mark are talking about are here…right here in our hearts.  We aren’t preparing the world, or even our neighborhood, or our cities, or our friends…we are preparing ourselves…we are asked by God to open the door to Him to give over to HIM our will and to FOLLOW Him.  No matter the plans and the inventions of our minds, If Christ’s love, Christ’s presence, TRUE LOVE has not overcome our hearts, then our path is not straight and our journey is NOT on the right path.
Return to Him this ADVENT…this season of beginning and YOU begin again your life.  Encounter God again…let Him make your path straight…ask Him to reboot to life and to come into your life so that Advent will truly be a new beginning, the coming of our Saviour, the start of a new way of LIFE.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Saving the world

I have this idea that all of our lives we are responding to our calling by either running away from it or running towards it.  I think that we are really doing both at the same time in different areas of our lives.  God has called us to something that involves saving the world.  Maybe not saving the entire world through one person, but collectively being a part of the saving Kingdom that does save the world.  Their are casualties though.  There are the hurt, the hungry, the poor.  There are the victims of crimes, bad parents, and abuse.  There are the victims of our own racism and classicism and nationalism that cause us to think for some moments that God must be asleep at the wheel.  In these moments when I see these things, this evidence of our collective fallen-ness, I wonder where God is.

I think that God is in me, working to bring His kingdom of peace and love and redemption and sharing and hope through me.  I want to believe it, and I want to know it.  But most of all I want to see it.  I really wish I could see it every day through the institutions that we say belong to God...places like churches and even places like hospitals and corporations with God's name on them, or in their mission statements.

I don't think that God's work is confined to those very infinite and small places.  I think that His work and His movement and His power is at work in all the people of this world.  I think that His hands are at work inside of each and every human being, because we all know and contemplate and suspect that there is something more to this life than the reality in front of us.  There are more than the atoms that make up our existence.  There is an awareness of the other, the more, the incredible that is both in us and through us and bigger than the collective US.  Thank God, there is more than just us.  There is the God in us.  I don't know what redemption and resurrection always looks like, but I know it when I see it, when I see one of us doing something wonderful for someone else.  Expand all these moments throughout all of creation, and you will start to see something more wonderful and more incredible that you can imagine.  Realize that these moments are taking place all across the world and in some way are connected and caused by the same wonderful force.  You will start to see the Other.  You will start to see God.  And this is only a start.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Slavery is not Modern But...

Slavery is not a modern concept, but it still exists.  A friend of mine is in jail right now because he is subjected to the whims of a person who can take advantage of his undocumented status.  In fact, he is trying to adjust status, but does not have the same rights as I do.  I only have the rights I do because I was lucky to have been born at an address in this country.  It's not just that one person can be controlled/blackmailed by another because of something like this.

Nothing is cut and dry when it comes to immigration, but blackmail is cut and is not right.  It's not right to manipulate another person because of the weaknesses they endure due to their color, religion, or status.  In this case two out of three are bad...bad wrong.  We may have all been created equally...but from that first breath, the inequality begins...  "I am so sorry..."

I don't like being blind.

I don't think I can accept "blind faith" I don't think it is really faith at all to be act like I am blind. The world is hard to accept along side of the professions of faith that I try to live out... My faith is also hard to accept along side of what I see in my world every day too. Just because it's hard, doesn't mean I should just give myself a lobotomy when it comes to faith. I think it means that I need to think harder, pray more, and accept that becoming more uncomfortable with my world and with my faith is not a bad thing. Rather it is something that makes my life and my faith deeper and richer. A good scotch was not made over night...

Saturday, September 10, 2011


no more words about this day...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Loss is a fact of life

September is a month of loss.  We lost a lot of things on 9-11.  This month is the month I lost my Mom and found out about the loss of a close friend.  It's the month that so many things went away from me and away from our physical world that it makes me question the eternal...the other.

Pain is like that.  It makes me think only of what is in front of me and focuses me on the pain and away from the reality of the "other."  But the "other" is so much bigger than the pain, and even much more real.  It's part of being a reluctant believer that makes believing in the "other" so hard sometimes.  We are all reluctant to believe when the pain and the sadness start to take over.  But holding on to the "other" is the only thing that really allows the pain to heal us and make us something more than we were before.

If we don't grow, then only bitterness and hatefulness and soreness remain.  But if we grow beyond the pain, then we point the way to the "other" that all of us so desperately need.  That other, of course, is love.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

art is life.

art is is art. there is not such thing as imitation. you are living it as you go creating a blob, a masterpiece, a great triumph or a terrible tragedy. you really don't know what art is if you don't think that you are making it each and every day. your words form ideas and concepts and stories. your life continues the weaving of a tapestry whose threads bind together actions, interactions, relationships, and pull and tug upon the fabrics of other's lives. they are all jumbled up together, not in a mess, but in a unique 3 dimensional piece that has so complicated a shape/organic and changing each nano-second. what is that but life is art.