Archive for May 1st, 2018

Luke 10:20: Written in Heaven

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

You are not that important AND your name is written in heaven. (Rohr 133)

A friend once told me that if she gets to heaven to see that Adolph Hitler is seated at the banquet, she doesn’t want to go. We laughed a bit and then she said, “Well, of course, if he is there, God must have worked a miracle. I wonder what it was”. We sometimes re-visit that conversation and marvel at God’s generosity. We explore the many ways God might have called Hitler to conversion in his last moment of life in this world. We debate, in our child-like way, what might be the best strategies to call someone away from fear and toward compassion. No matter the length of the conversation, we can never agree on how God works with us to strip away our suspicions and temptations to divide. We listen for God’s voice as we move slowly toward the transformative understand that everything in creation belongs to, and with, and in God. And this is how it should be. God is God, and we are not.

“If we cannot trust that we have an eternal identity in God, then we are burdened with creating our own personal importance day after day . . . We become lost in comparison, envy, competition, and codependency . . . Authentic spirituality is an experience of abundance and mutual flourishing instead of a limited world of scarcity (‘Their success is my loss!’).” (Rohr 133)

When we are able to see that each of us is a living stone in the living temple of God, we are better able to put aside our small conceits to accept the greater gift of God’s promise and grace. When we agree to calm our fears and to accept “the other” as a vital piece of God’s mosaic, we find a firm place to plant our feet.

I can never forget you! I have written your name on the palms of my hands. (Isaiah 49:16)

When we accept the idea that we are born with original blessing as well as original sin, we take up the tools God gives us to come together at the great banquet that is heaven. We build bridges in order to sit beside our former enemies; we tear down walls so that we might fully understand that our names truly are written on the palms of God’s hands.

Today we practice letting go of the personal importance we have given ourselves, and we open our hearts to the common wonderful idea that the inclusive, equalizing banquet of heaven awaits us here and now.

Richard Rohr, OFM. A Spring Within Us: A Book of Daily Meditations. Albuquerque, NM: CAC Publishing, 2016.

Come Sunday is a Netflix film based on an interview from NPR’s This American Life. https://www.netflix.com/title/80152625 A preacher’s desire to tell the world about the common wonderful promise of God turns his world upside down. Read a Sundance review at: http://collider.com/come-sunday-review-netflix/ or a Variety review at: http://variety.com/2018/film/reviews/come-sunday-review-1202671818/ 

When we compare different translations of these verses, we see that our world is full of paradox, and that our names are written in heaven.

Images from: http://variety.com/2018/film/reviews/come-sunday-review-1202671818/ and http://callmevictorian.com/252/handwritten-signatures/

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