Why The Egg Came First…

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The egg.  “The incredible, edi…” – sorry that was my 70’s indoctrination. I will somehow try to approximate the Trinity using this remarkable orb but not the way you’re probably expecting.  All analogies that attempt to convey the unknown seem to hit the ground running before they are limping to a cliff behind a pack of  disillusioned lemmings. However, what I want to convey is a simple truce for the ongoing domestic dispute between science and religion. Since analogies are particularly powerful among children, then those who not only still play but actually ‘believe all’ may find this as exciting as golden memories of sitting unrestrained in the back of a station wagon, a fistful of allowance, heading towards Toys R Us.

Okay, my sad analogy of this boundless, ever-giving, Triune Deity is relating it to an egg.  That same uncreated phenomena between the Father, Son, and Spirit offering fully of themselves to each other. That same incredibly diverse yet profoundly equal functions and measure finally decide it is high time to share their relational energy and allows their egg of wonder to crack. The Spirit, like the cleaving of atoms, explodes out with unprecedented force, sight, and sound.  The ever-creative energy shared within the Wonder Egg, fusing vapors and dust within the swirling centrifugation of planetary new formations begins to expand towards the infinite darkness. From the vulnerable crack, a Big Bang, shakes the billions of newborn galaxies within the universe. Life begins the very moment the Trinity becomes vulnerable.  Life actually flows from the wounded side of this extraordinary analogy.  Love allows the necessary violence to open itself to others at the sacrifice of remaining whole. Love when offered without condition is an unequaled force designed to disrupt the status quo and create life.

Soooo…yea…the egg definitely came first.

Within in every underlying precept of the biblical thread, is some sort of going out and returning back.  The return is never fruitless.  Like the word of God that never comes back void.  Eventually, we will return to the very “crack” the Spirit went out from.  I know by now you are hoping the lemmings along with my analogy has parachutes, so I’m grateful for your patience in not tapping out.

Ultimately I want to invite you to unpack some thoughts and see how well they apply to you:

  1. The diversity and love within this triune relationship.  How is this diversity reflected in your faith, your church, and your friends?
  2. Omnipotence, Ever-Powerful, and All-Knowing are well touted virtues y’All Mighty Creator.  Yet Creator is an ever-creative virtue that continuously proves its propensity through evolution and especially adaptation.  Nature always finds a way. As selfishness, arrogance, and entitled cultures, ignore the ramifications of our continuous assault upon our planet ambivalent that nature will find a way, what can we expect for our future?  What will happen with glacial calving then melting, coral bleaching, oil spills, floating trash islands, and over fishing?  Remember Nature will find a way.  Maybe a new order of water-borne species exquisitely adaptive to our flagrant disregard? Maybe an apex species? Maybe some awakening of a dormant algae or even a leviathan to go out from its slumber and return its sea to order by whatever violence necessary.
  3. Has your faith, expression of worship, seem frozen in language, ritual, tradition, inequality, and/or patriarchy?  Have you and I grown docile and content with being subservient to a power base, those Keepers of the Keys of knowledge?  How will Nature find a way to reflect the ever-creative Triune force and mutual life-giving love within and through this situation?
  4. Finally, let us end with love.  Without love we would have literally never existed. Has the love of a Messiah, which did not return void to the Father, drench us in gratitude.  Will we, even within Christendom, ever stop crucifying one another? Will we be brave enough to open our side, inviting others into our self love-realm? Has the love of G-d and love of neighbors been replaced by religion worshipping itself? Does Sunday seem so distant from the initial decision to share uncreated, original love with exclusionary fallacies of original sin? Has the Spirit convinced you that your soul is yearning for a divine relationship instead of human authority?

Ever

Ever Ancient,
Ever New,
Ever-patient,
Nature will break through.

Unrestrained,
And wild,
He will return,
To reconcile.

Stiff-necked slaves,
Keep two masters,
Keys build empires,
Wolves become pastors.

Vulnerable,
Life is bled,
Soul-drenched and weary,
His disciples are fed.

Reunion,
Draws nigh,
Inviting my soul,
Through Christ my guide.

Lord, awaken me from my slumber!

 

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Christian Porn…

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If we dared to dip more of our big toe into the cool, clear waters of G-d’s love we may never experience the depth of transformation our Savior can offer.  Through out my neighborhood, I’m encouraged yet pensive by seeing the little “You Matter” signs advertising a local big, box church.  Certainly the love of G-d for every Image-bearer is inexhaustible.  This type of keen marketing has led to building multiple sites with many satisfied attendees.  Yet bad theology is no different from self-serving pornography objectifying the mission of Christ without chancing the intimacy of experiencing His relationship with the marginalized. The blood sacrifice hyped from the popular mainstream pulpits or stages, has left nothing for the hearer to do but be joyful and grateful.  Joy and gratitude are wonderful psychological building blocks for a healthy mind.  Both add a sense of patience and positivity to a friendly perspective. Was obtaining a state of joy and gratitude the reason for sending a Savior?

Is there more than “You Matter”?

What does it mean to be a disciple? What does G-d really envision for our lives? What really is the “purpose driven” life? Is scripture more than an inspirational tool that ingratiates a selfish sense of self-piety wrapped in the white-washed sheets of self worth and gratitude? …but “You Matter”?

Instead of the false cloaks of “spiritual awareness” and vanity of “gifts”, what if we wrapped ourselves in what we profess as sin?  What if we became that sin you find worthy for the heat of Hell and pleaded for forgiveness? Seriously…”You Matter”!

Good theology finds true freedom to fearlessly protest the oppression of any Image-bearer of G-d. Pick your favorite hatred or prejudice, button-up, and become one with those you despise.  Plead for their forgiveness even when they do not understand. Becoming at-one with atonement theory allows the curious disciple to plumb the depth of the final plea from a crucified Messiah; “Father forgive them for they know not what they do!”

If your religion has an obsession with purity codes or vices that justify a Hell for the sinners they envy… run.

If only joy and gratitude from hearing such a “wonderful message” fill your Sundays…run.

If your hear a message that ‘cuts to the heart’… stay.

Unless we are moved to spew more than a “good word“, we will only cool the big toe of our curiosity.  We must realize John 3:16 builds the mind and soul towards the new freedom without fear – even that of persecution or death. Unless we become wrapped in our neighbor’s oppression we will cheat ourselves of ever knowing a G-d willing to bleed for us! Otherwise the cross is just a murderous, Roman tool of fear void of any meaning of our Father’s scandalous love for the Image we bear.

Its not about you. Fearlessness Matters.

“I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace.
In the world you face persecution.
But take courage; I have conquered the world!”
John 16:33
(NRSV)

My All

I could complain and empty my anguish regarding war and its consequence of the unnecessary sufferings of poverty and sickness. My rage towards humanity’s grabs for power and pleasure instead of honest, loving, vibrant communities. Thankfully, my faith rudders my contemplation away from this imploding darkness towards the hopeful glow of finding some way to love my God through my neighbor. Yet before I can prayerfully think towards mercy, I am drawn to first hallow The Ineffable Name* of Mercy itself.

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YOU Are

YOU are my endless epiphany,
My eternal morning glory,
Breathtaking yet life-giving,
My soul’s majestic sunrise,
One man’s hope for brotherhood.

YOU’re wild and uncontainable,
My swirl of curiosity,
Man’s DNA for mercy.
My horizon of glory,
And newfound purpose to love.

YOU are my wonderland of tomorrow’s hope,
For eye has not seen,
nor ear has heard,
nor heart imagined,
all YOU have prepared,
for those who love YOU. (1 Cor 2:9)

By Chris Clody
8/21/16

*Inspired by Abraham Joshua Heschel and his poetry in The Ineffable Name of God: Man: Poems. 2004. ISBN 0-8264-1632-2

Seeing More Clearly Now…

Normally I realize the presence of God by looking in the rear-view mirror with awe and a smile. However, lately I don’t feel I’ll be waiting for that hindsight. Spending another Sunday with teaching and friends that lift my awareness beyond my normal religious experience. My thirst for intimacy with the Divine is an incessant hunger and restlessness. The beauty of deep teaching does not push me away from the familiar but rather expands one’s joyous radar of the One in our midst. Thanks Don and friends and Dust Covenant (http://www.dustchurch.com/). Shine on

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Brighten My Eyes

Remove this heavy darkness,
That dims Your kingdom from my sight,
Still me with eternal prayer,
That holds me in your holy light.

Brighten my eyes, oh Lord,
and heal my soul,
brighten my eyes oh Lord,
and heal my soul.

Wash my vision with your Truth,
Magnify your increase in me,
Make visible your image,
To cherish You through Charity.

Brighten my eyes, oh Lord,
and heal my soul,
Brighten my eyes, oh Lord
and heal my soul.

by Chris Clody
8/8/2016

22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! (Matthew 6:22-23)

Morning has broken!

Yep, I’m a morning person, that’s confirmed with the first, brisk inhale as my ears gorge on birdsong.  Seeing my puff of breath brings out new depths of personal gratitude while this background symphony by feathery friends assist my morning prayer. These are the moments that leave me truly awestruck and wanting to see the face of God. I anxiously await another sunrise that will soon still me so I may blush along with the clouds at the promise of forever and a new day. I pray for those who miss this opportunity, to truly breathe Mercy, and make ready our will to love another.

Surely….God is amazing.
sunrise

Someday…

Someday, sooner or later,
Life becomes something more,
When the hidden songs of birds,
Overwhelm and occupy the soul,
And desperation opens a new door.

Surely, we all will realize,
Entitlement’s thin veneer,
That stuffed us full of sugar,
Catering buffets of the ephemeral,
Petrified of the beauty we might hear.

Someday, now sooner than later,
That sunrise will catch our breath,
And draw us out like a moth to light,
Into that early morning dawn,
to doubt the finality of death.

Surely, in that golden gaze of sun,
The veneer will melt away,
A smallness will overtake us,
Grateful to feel our soul’s first yearning,
while repressed love blooms its first bouquet.

Someday, has come today,
Transfixed, unsure, willing and trembling,
Like a beggar holding flowers,
Stands now at the door crying,
Instead of excited and holding an engagement ring.

By Chris Clody
6/18/16

Divine Ascent

imagesfrdsI’m truly grateful for the friends that steady my vision and encourage me to see beyond the pale.  Unlike opinions to politics, the spiritual life offers a simple choice as if stepping onto a ladder.  The love of God or our repulsion to His irrational invitation awaits our response regardless of our state in life.  Gratitude abounds in the knowledge of a patient God whether this deeply personal choice is made hastily or through long contemplation. Despite our incredible human capacity to make this gift of divine love complicated, exclusive, and unreachable, a remnant of hopeful hearts within the friends we can’t live without remain to offer enough light for the next step up that ladder.  Today I was blessed to be given the chance to contemplate the inspiration in the following illustration of a 12th century icon called the “Ladder of Divine Ascent” :

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Note: In this icon we have Christ in the upper right hand corner receiving pilgrims into heaven. On the bottom, left of center, we have the mouth of hell open to those who abandon the ladder and chose the easy open-air path to destruction. One of the many reasons that this icon is so effective is that it makes very clear that there are only two trajectories. Each pilgrim is either moving up, or headed down.

If this depiction showing life offering two fearful trajectories, in which neither look “fun”, then that’s a shallow interpretation of this illustration and certainly the vision Our Creator has for each and every one of us.  I believe the deeper inspiration is our numbness or respect towards fear and more importantly, either our indifference or reverence in returning the effort of love freely offered to us in sublime forgiveness.  What do you see?

Seek Love,

Chris

The Divine Ascent

Rung by Rung, hand over hand,
Focused eyes stare heaven bound,
The ladder of one’s divine ascent,
Seeks to only to cast its crown,
While teetering above Hell’s hounds.

Unreasonable and humble,
Uncomfortable and quiet,
Unsatisfied with progress,
For Love is an action that cannot sit –
For an inconsumable fire has been lit…
The heart must remain restless,
To pull upon that final rung,
This work is hard and unpopular,
Yet at peace from a victory won,
From whence their sins quietly hung…

Pray pierced hands pull us past that final rung,
Knowing just the good and faithful hear “well done.”

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By Chris Clody 2/6/2014

Fearless In Him

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Fearless in Him

Nothing can replace what disease has stole,
Yet I am not alone…
Now that God indwells as a guest in my soul.

Yes, grief and disappointment ravish my mind –
I fear not their shadows…
Since Love overflows the empty I leave behind.

Despair and fear cannot dig their roots in me,
Where Love is bitter soil…
Only gratitude crumbles me to my knees.

Thank you Lord
For love sublime
Raise my eyes
beyond the blind.
Carry my soul
out from my sin
For now I see…
Where I end and
You begin.
Amen.

By Chris Clody
7/29/13

Dedicated to Jeanne’s brother