Frederick Buechner is one of my favorite spiritual/religious writers in the world. He is a pastor, an artist, a poet and to top it all off he spent many years in my favorite place in all the world – Vermont. His words on the Incarnation are rich and challenging. EnJoy!
“The word became flesh,” wrote John, “and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). That is what incarnation means. It is untheological. It is unsophisticated. It is undignified. But according to Christianity, it is the way things are.
All religions and philosophies that deny the reality or the significance of the material, the fleshly, the earthbound, are themselves denied. Moses at the burning bush was told to take off his shoes because the ground on which he stood was holy ground (Exodus 3:5), and incarnation means that all ground is holy ground because God not only made it but walked on it, ate and slept and worked and died on it. If we are saved anywhere, we are saved here. And what is saved is not some diaphanous distillation of our bodies and our earth, but our bodies and our earth themselves. Jerusalem becomes the New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven like a bride adorned for her husband (Revelation 21:2). Our bodies are sown perishable and raised imperishable (1 Corinthians 15:42).
One of the blunders religious people are particularly fond of making is the attempt to be more spiritual than God.
~ Written by Frederick Buechner and originally published in Wishful Thinking and later in Beyond Words.
“God invites us, perhaps even challenges us, to become co-creators and co-collaborators in birthing fledgling dreams and in encouraging fragile seeds that have lain dormant within us. When I finally acknowledged, honored and acted upon this truth that I perceived within, I experienced God’s presence as never before! With this acknowledgement I began to recover a greater acceptance of myself and also deeper relationships with God and the rest of God’s world – relationships which are all interconnected.
As I became more aware of the presence of God in my life, I also became more attentive to the deeper promptings and leadings within my own being and began to look more honestly and objectively at my own gifts and resources.” (Introduction, p. i)
“To step out in faith is to experience risk and uncertainty, but it is also to experience God’s loving embrace and continued steadfastness.” (p. iii)
By Ruth Halvorson, founder of ARC Retreat Center and quoted in Action Reflection Celebration: the ARC story
Some days, good poetry is what the Soul needs; for poetry is one of the many languages of God. So, today I post one of my favorite M.C. Richards’ poems…she is a royal gem in the crown! EnJoy…
Sitting in the roofless tent, listening…
See all natural forms, he said, not as forever fixed
but as expressing a tendency toward another form
I saw you last night, evening primrose, preparing to open:
in an instant you changed from bud to bloom,
pulling back the outer sheath as the petals expanded and
became flower. And the tendency then, barely visible,
to lose moisture, to wilt, to droop, to shrink, to drop,
to become earth.
I feel in myself the growing tips of age:
to travel without an agenda, to seek a new furniture
of emptiness and silence where I can voluptuously sit
as in a pool of warmth, living toward dying,
blooming into visibility.
M. C. Richards
Brilliant, ivory Lover of mine,
rising with quiet passion over the
you, all fecund…
me, all lost, empty and searching…
You light my way, oh gracious Luna,
Lighting the splendid darkness of my
night with divine light.
The full Manifesto can be found under “Pages” or simply by clicking on this Link.
An earthy monk is grateful, generous, radical (i.e., being Rooted), living a Velveteen Rabbit-like faith that is real and grounded in God.
Molded by God’s tenderness, an earthy monk sees and seeks the Divine in all things and in all ways knowing that everything is Holy – from the mundane to the profane. Everything becomes Sacred when seen through the eyes of God’s unfathomable Love.
An earthy monk keeps close to their heart the mandate that we mortals have been give as to how we should then live and be: we are “to do justice, love mercy, and to walk humbly with [our] God” (Micah 6:8).
Earthy monks know what all mystics know: that all are one and all are from and will return to the One. Earthy monks know that the Truth is the Truth regardless of its source: whether it comes from the Vatican, a bar stool, a monastery, a street corner, the Koran or a little blog.
Earthy monks know we are more connected than not, more alike than not, more one than not. So that being said, here are some suggestions & reminders if you too are an Earthy Monk:
- Love God and love all people, love the Earth, touch a tree, stare at the stars until your head spins, love your enemies, pray often, and even more than that.
- Really do stop and smell the roses, for God is quite fond of them (and you!).
- Celebrate life and live gratefully.
- Do yourself a favor by doing someone else one…
- Be conduits for God’s crazy love, relentless grace and tender mercy. Be God’s hands, heart, and feet on earth for that is our calling.
- Plant some seeds that you will cultivate, harvest and eat.
- Get your food from a local farm, for if you think “No Farms, No Food” is a trite syllogism, see how expensive and nasty food will be when it ALL comes from a box or a can!
- Adopt a rescue pet…for after a few months, that ‘pet’ will become Family. For any living Being that is abandoned, then rescued, lives their lives in Pure Gratitude.
- Love God…deeply and passionately but not blindly. If your love for God means you mistreat people, animals or the earth, then your love is toxic (and therefore not love). If your love for God is tied to some flag, country or particular ideology (be it liberal or conservative), then it is not God’s way. For God is Love and when you are an earthy monk, you give your life to God and Divine Love is the Law to be followed.
- Cleanse yourself of every image and/or thought you have ever had or felt about God. Let it go then let God reveal himself to you! Ask God to reveal Divine Love in its purity, free from ideologies, beliefs, titles, or words. God ‘ain’t’ no Democrat or a Republican, Liberal or Conservative…God just Is!
- ‘Flesh out’ God’s love by living a life of service, compassion, and joy for the poor, the marginalized and the disenfranchised. Live near them for charity is no substitute for justice and God always intended justice to be a lifestyle of compassion in action and one of proximity.
So to sum it up: love God, love people, serve the most vulnerable, the neglected and the outcast, and love the Beauty’Full Earth.
Short and sweet. But here it is. My God Dream, that hunger pang of divine inspiration that I am called to, is Rez Farm…
Rez Farm ~ a healing retreat ‘cultivating resurrection’.
Rez Farm will offer the wounded, the weary, the healers and the seekers a place and space to GROW: deeper into God, community, the Earth and practicing the works of mercy.
What is your God Dream?!?
P.S. And I mean for any and all to email me their God Dream and I will post them on this blog with your permission, of course, to send it out into the world!
Agape [Divine Love] is astonishingly simple. That is what makes it difficult. It is not too complex for us, we are too complex for it. We must learn to become like little children if we are to find [God].
For God is like a little child: utterly single-minded and pure of heart. That’s how God governs the universe: right from the center of it all. And that’s how we are called to govern our lives.
Source: The God Who Loves You