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Posts Tagged ‘questions’


Sunday, January 5, 2020

Acts 4:23-31: Spiritual Realities

Deep Space as seen from Hubble

Deep Space as seen from Hubble

Many of us think of reality as a quality in opposition to spirituality.  Today Paul tells us that this is not so and earlier this week a friend and I shared our thoughts on our own spirituality: who we are, why we exist, what our purpose is, and where we are going . . . spiritually.

I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling . . . The human condition is one in which we easily confuse our physical and spiritual states.  Our surrounding world and prevailing pressures push us always away from God’s wisdom; they lure us into trusting the world’s wisdom.

The Spirit scrutinizes everything . . . We rely on word of mouth, on the Internet, and TVs talking heads, on anything other than God.  We hesitate to examine our thoughts and actions too closely; we have drawn veils across the truths we do not wish to see.

We speak God’s wisdom, mysterious, hidden . . . When we allow ourselves to make a journey of the cross, God’s wisdom begins to make more sense to us; the world’s wisdom begins to fade.

We speak about [the things freely given us by God] not by words taught by human wisdom but by the Spirit, describing spiritual realities in spiritual terms.  We need to learn and use the vocabulary, syntax and linguistics of spirituality if we hope to engage in conversation with God closely; intimacy with God grows only when we devote time and energy to our own spiritual reality.

Who are we?  Why are we?  What are we doing?  Where are we going?

These questions all have answers.  These answers are not found in the world but in God.  We find God in our own spiritual reality.  We find our spiritual reality when we spend time with God.

As we approach the last day of the Christmas season and we commemorate the Magi who wisely bring gifts to the Messiah, let us find time and let us expend energy in the examination of our spiritual reality.  And let us prepare to bring the gift of our spiritual selves to the one who created all, for it is in this open vulnerability to God and that we discover God’s wisdom.  And it is in this willingness to know our spiritual reality . . . that we find the answers to these questions that define us.


A re-post from January 5, 2013.

Image from: http://michaelgr.com/2007/05/20/the-hubble-space-telescope-vs-new-james-webb-space-telescope/

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Isaiah 40: Beyond Self

Michaelangelo: The Creation of Adam

Michaelangelo: The Creation of Adam – detail

Friday, August 21, 2015

Isaiah again today, and it is the chapter which begins the second half of the prophecy – often referred to as the Book of Consolation.  The words remind us also of chapters 38 through 42 of Job when God speaks to his loyal yet questioning servant.

Like Job, we also may have questions for the creator of the universe, questions about his plan for us, his plan for others, questions about how God expects so many diverse elements can possibly come together in peaceful union.  Today’s citation tells us that we need not fret about how God’s plan will be accomplished.  It tells us that if we place our hope in God, all that is inscrutable will be made plain to us.  Isaiah asks:  Do you not know?  Have you not heard?  Was it not foretold you form the beginning?  Have you not understood? 

Our spirit is captured in human vessels, struggling to break free, to soar above the ugly parts of this life; and yet in all of our struggle for release we forget that we have already been ransomed, as we spent time reflecting yesterday.  Do you not know or have you not heard?  The Lord is the eternal God, creator of the ends of the earth.  Today’s words are a reminder that we are not meant to struggle alone.

When we present to God daily our list of petitions that beg for miracles . . . God does not faint or grow weary.

When we are confounded by the duplicity and complexity if darkness . . . God’s knowledge is beyond scrutiny.

In all of our turmoil, all of our tears, all of our anxiety . . . God gives strength to the fainting.

In the darkest hours, in the deepest mourning, in the depths of despair . . . God makes vigor abound.

Wherever we are wrung out, exhausted, at wit’s end, beyond recovery and when we stagger and fall, they that hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar as with eagles’ wings; they will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint. 

There is always joy beyond our imaginings.  There is always strength beyond our human power.  This is what makes us divine . . . in that we acknowledge this divinity . . . and allow ourselves to be drawn to it.  Once we step out of self, empty self, and allow God in . . . then we too have knowledge beyond scrutiny, strength beyond fainting, and joy beyond tears.

A Favorite from July 3, 2009.

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Thursday, August 8, 2013

questions%20-%20fotolia_38274417%20-%20web_417x313[1]Jeremiah 12:1-2

Why?

You would be in the right, O Lord, if I should dispute with you; even so, I must discuss the case with you.  Why does the way of the godless prosper, why live all the treacherous in contentment?  You planted them; they have taken root, they keep on growing and bearing fruit.  You are upon their lips, but far from their inmost thoughts.

Like most of God’s prophets, Jeremiah asks the Lord direct questions.  He brings his confusion, heartache and pain to the Creator who knows and sees all.  Like Jeremiah, we must bring all of our big and petty woes to God. For with God is the answer we seek.

God says: I am not bothered by the billions of questions that fly to me each day and night.  I am not angered.  I am not threatened.  There is nothing you can ask that will turn me away from you.  So ask.  How else will you find peace?  I will always answer . . . even though you may not be prepared to hear the reply.  Even then I will guide you to understanding.  All you need do is remain open and ready for dialog.  I long to listen and speak to you.  Be not afraid to ask the questions that are in your heart.  Persist and be open, and we will speak with one another.

“How is it that evil prospers?”  “Why do the wicked enjoy life while the faithful suffer?”  “When will God’s justice divide the sheep from the goats, the wheat from the chaff?”  “Where is God when so much envy and hate destroy all that is good?”  “What is the point of seeing the weeds pollute the harvest?”

These are questions the faithful feel rise from within when they see injustice in the world.  These are the questions the faithful must bring to God . . . for with God lie the consolation and the replies.

Tomorrow, Job, another faithful servant, hears The Lord’s Speech . . .

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