Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. — James 1:27
Whenever the human and the divine coexist at the same time in the same person we have Christianity. I don’t know that it finally matters what Scriptures you read, liturgies you attend, or moral positions you hold about this or that—as much as “Do you live trustfully inside of God’s one world?”(Richard Rhor) This creates honest people, people who don’t waste time proving they’re right, superior, or saved, but just try to live and love the daily mystery that they are in the loving presence of God. “God comes to you disguised as your life,” as Paula D’Arcy loves to say. Imagine that!
There are basically four world views: (Fr. Richard Rhor)
1) Reality is just matter
2) Reality is just spirit
3) Through religion and morality we can work to put matter and spirit together
4) The material world has always been the place where Spirit is revealed.
You cannot put them together. They already are—as in Jesus. Only the fourth position, “incarnationalism,” deserves to be called authentic Christianity. It has to do with the right reality, not the right rituals.
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.
The prophecies in Isaiah seem to be fulfilled in this man Jesus, whose actions live out the prophet’s promise. God is here, and God’s presence among us is manifested in healing. This is a wonderful vision. And we may feel very comfortable in looking forward to this. Who wouldn’t? Everybody wants to say; “I’m a good person,” . What a super possibility—a world where things would really be good. Imagine a world with only good. That is God’s world and He invites us to consider the possibility.”
This is how Mr. Wesley puts it::
“The most dry and barren places shall be made moist and fruitful; which is principally meant of the plentiful effusion of God’s grace upon such persons and nations, as had been wholly destitute of it.”
- Do you daily turn your troubles over to the Lord?
- Do you ask God to help you prosper?
- How often do you bring your troubles to the Lord?
As you worship consider how much different your life could be if you surrendered your all to God.
God the Father
He also said, ‘The nearer a man draws to God, the more he sees himself as a sinner. It was when Isaiah the prophet saw God, that he declared himself “a man of unclean lips”’ (Isaiah 6:5)
——Abba Mateo of the Desert
As I ponder these words from the desert, I am symbolically called to the stand in front of a mirror. A mirror is a reminder, sometimes a shocking one, of how we truly look. The older we get the more we are surprised at what the passing of years has done to our faces, but we must accept the true self we see in the mirror or we can become very sick and dysfunctional beings. The Abba reminds us that we must take a “God look” at ourselves to understand our true nature. As we draw closer to God and do more intense soul work we become enlightened and realistic about our place in this world. Like Isaiah of old, our ministry only begins when we see and acknowledge our uncleanness.
The sweet Christian journey gets only sweeter when we know that we are a sinner among sinners, and not a judge sent to make things right. As people who have faced our true selves, we can reach out to our family, friends, and neighbors with the true heart of God. We no longer sit in judgment, but stand beside and walk with those in need. May we all draw near to God?
- Pursuing Holiness (pbsministries.wordpress.com)
He also said, ‘The nearer a man draws to God, the more he sees himself as a sinner. It was when Isaiah the prophet saw God, that he declared himself “a man of unclean lips.” ’ (Isaiah 6:5)
——-Abba Mateos of the Desert
These are great words coming from the wise monk. We should take to heart the notion that closeness to God gives us a greater awareness of our inability to live the life of perfection. With this awareness we open ourselves to the abundance of grace that God sends our way, and to a better understanding of our neighbor. In the acceptance of our own sin, forgiveness of others becomes more natural. As long as we hold on to our own pride and power, we will never fully experience the presence of God.
- An Older Gospel (laymansbible.wordpress.com)