God for us, alongside us, within us.

Good Monday Morning to this week 41/2018

This week I worked my way through a few chapters of “The Divine Dance” by Richard Rohr.

Due to reading it very slowly I’m only halfway through, even after a week. Nevertheless, I’d like to share a few thoughts!

A Space at God’s Table 

The Lord appeared to Abraham and he looked up and saw three men standing there. Three angels, perhaps more, Abraham intuitively recognizes this something more and invites them to a meal and rest. He does not join in but observes from afar. Abraham and Sarah seem to see the Holy one in the presence of the three and their first instinct is one of invitation and hospitality, to create a space of food and drink for them. Surely, we ourselves are not invited to this divine table, they presume. The Holy One, in the form of Three – eating and drinking, in infinite hospitality and utter enjoyment between themselves. If we take the depiction of God in the Trinity seriously, we have to say, “In the beginning was the Relationship.

The divine flow of the Trinity provides a framework for our relationships, our self-worth and our spirituality. Beyond doctrine, it illuminates how the integration of the Trinity sets us on a path to spiritual integration, vulnerability and wholeness.

God is a holy community; Father, Son, Spirit. We are called to this, to belong to each other, to be one as God is One.

God is Love and love is unendingly unfolding, permeating and transforming and connecting all that is.

Moving away from a dualistic age to a new consciousness of our three in one relational God.

Many Christians are in their practical life almost mere monotheists, until up along came Paul Young with his best-selling novel, the Shack, bringing the trinity back in a way as not in a long time.

Ancient Greek Fathers depict the Trinity as a round dance,  an event that has continued for six thousand years.

It’s a spiritual paradigm shift out of John 3, 5 and 14

God did not send his Son to condemn the world, but to have it saved.
My Father goes on working and so do I.
Holy Spirit 
Will teach you all things and remind you of everything Jesus has said.

Instead of God being an “Eternal Threatener”, we have God as “Ultimate Participant”, in everything, both the good and painful.

God being totally inclusive! God with us in all of life instead of standing on the sidelines.

A revelation of God being always involved instead of the in-and-out deity that leaves most of humanity orphaned. Grace is inherent to creation and not an occasional additive that some people occasionally merit.

The implications are staggering: every vital impulse, every force toward the future, every creative momentum, every loving surge, every dash toward beauty, every running toward truth, every ecstasy and every simple goodness, every ambition for wholeness and holiness is the flowing life of the Trinitarian God.

We are in dire need to go from, disconnection from God, but also from ourselves, from each other, from our world, back to grounded reconnection with God, self and others.

Dare we believe even that God sees a bit of “Godself” mirrored in a new form, as God gazes at us?

The divine flow either flows both in and out or it is not flowing at all. Jesus mentions that in verses as “Happy are the merciful, they shall have mercy shown to them”.

Part of our resistance to this mystery of Trinity is what Paul describes not less than God having weakness. “God’s weakness is stronger than human strength”. Really? how could God be weak?

Human strength could be described as self-sufficiency.
God’s weakness could be described as inter-being.
Human strength admires autonomy;
God’s mystery rests in mutuality.
We like control.
God loves vulnerability.
God the All-mighty One – Vulnerability between Three!
We admire needing no one;
The Trinity admires needing, needing everything, total communion with all things and all being. God in total disclosure!
Human strength is in asserting boundaries.
God it seems is in the business of dissolving boundaries.
We can’t resolve the paradox of the Trinity so we confuse unity with uniformity.
God endlessly creates and allows diversity.
God in Three are diverse, different, distinct and yet they are one!

Mother Teresa sums it beautifully in the Eucharist:
We are called to be contemplatives in heart:
Seeking the face of God in everything, everyone, everywhere, all the time and seeing His hand in everything happening.
Seeing and adoring the presence of Jesus, especially in the lowly appearance of bread and the distressing disguise of the poor.
The degree to which you can see the divine image where you’d rather not, tells me how fully the divine image is now operative within you.
Your life is no longer your own. You are instead a two-way reflecting mirror.

An interesting image of Trinity could also be as with atomic power. The power is not to be found in the electrons or neutrons, but the explosive power is found in the interaction between them. This puts the Trinity into a new perspective, doesn’t it!

The mystery of the Three, the Trinity breaks us out of our dualistic impasses, and invites us to enter into another reality!

God for you,
God alongside you,
God within you!

Wishing you a blessed week!



God wins!

God gets beaten up by a guy with a dislocated hip!

Good Monday Morning to this week 40/2018

Jacob is moving house. His wife and 11 sons have gone ahead of him. Suddenly, without any explanation, he’s wrestling with a man. The fight goes on all night. The man knows he’s losing, so he somehow magically wrenches Jacob’s hip out of place. Jacob says he won’t let go until the man blesses him, so the man does that, and then admits that, in fact, he’s God. “Therefore to this day,” says the Bible, “the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob’s hip was touched near the tendon.”

In the end, God wins! Jesus is the incontestable champion! His story is THE end-well story . . . and His story becomes our story when we believe. He’s the hope of humanity and the best news we must share. His Kingdom is on the move and will be healed, restored and renewed.

Revelation belongs to a category of literature called apocalypse, popular 200 years before and after Christ. This literary form is found in Daniel and a few other books in the Bible. Apocalyptic literature originated during times of persecution and was intended to encourage readers during their trials.

Apocalyptic language employed dramatic visions often interpreted by an angel. It referred to past events to show that God’s grace could be counted upon in the present and future. Apocalyptic literature dealt with contemporary events. It offered picturesque descriptions of the struggle of good against evil, with assurances that good would triumph.

In addition to the main theme that God triumphs over evil, many other important lessons are taught in Revelation. God the Father is adored as Creator of all. Jesus is proclaimed as Savior and worshiped as divine. The Holy Spirit touches the lives of believers. The perfection of the Trinity is displayed through symbols of wisdom, power, holiness, and majesty. The universe is God’s handiwork, subject to his Providence. Mary stands radiant in heaven as Mother of Christ; her life and victory foreshadow that of the Church. The Saints join us in prayer and worship. Angels exist, worship God with us, and protect us. People have free will and can sin; God will vindicate the just, but the guilty will suffer. God does not view earth’s events as a disinterested bystander but invites us to accept grace and salvation. Christ in glory is close to his Church. He is one with believers and acts on their behalf. As Christ suffered, so too must we, always with hope of the next step of renewal and restoration. Christ rejects lukewarmness and urges us to follow him with all our hearts. He expects us to be courageous in challenging false values in society or government. Revelation teaches us to trust God, who brings us through every trial, even death, to eternal life.

Revelation acknowledges the struggles we have undergone, but it also assures us that God’s love and salvation are the greatest powers in the universe. No matter how badly human beings have failed, no matter how terrible the wounds sin may inflict on the world, no matter how desperate our situation may seem, God will prevail.

Victory is not complete, but it is certain. In this week of faith and always, Revelation and the entire Bible invite us to trust God and enter His Kingdom.

God wins!

He will dwell with them as their God; they will be His people. … He will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the former things have passed away. The One Who was seated on the throne said, “See, I make all things new. … I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end”

God wins!

Ps: I just come back from a two-hour session at the dentist, no wonder I am thinking of end times and new beginnings! The end didn’t come and I will soon enjoy a new beginning.

God wins!

Have a great week!

The Story behind the Story

“These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water…” Jude 1:12

Good Monday Morning to this week 39/2018

Clouds without water

Let’s take the metaphor “clouds without water.” A cloud in Scripture is often a symbol of divine presence. A pillar of cloud led the Israelites out of Egypt to the Promised Land.

And the LORD came down in a cloud…

Then Moses entered the cloud as he went on up the mountain…

And it came to pass, as Aaron spake unto the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and, behold, the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud.

Yeshua ascended to heaven in a cloud.

Thirsty for TORAH by Rabbi Ismar Schorsch

They traveled three days in the wilderness and found no water”, some mystically inclined Rabbis opined: “Water actually stands for Torah, as it is said (by Isaiah, 55:1),  All who are thirsty, come for water.’

Having gone for three days without Torah, the prophets among them stepped forth and legislated that the Torah should be read on the second and fifth days of the week as well as on Shabbat so that they would not let three days pass without Torah” .
Now let’s take this one step further. Let’s look at the root word for TORAH, yara. The verb yara means to throw cast or shoot, but is also connected to the act of raining.

Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. My doctrine shall drop as the rain. My speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: (Deuteronomy 32:1-2)

What is the message transmitted through this comparison, comparing the Torah to rain and dew?

What is the difference between rain and dew?

Although the earth needs rain in order to sustain life, rain is not always appreciated. Rain can cause inconvenience. The traveler does not wish to battle inclement weather. A farmer whose harvested crops are still in the field is not pleased with a summer storm.

Dew does not have the life-sustaining power of rain. However, it is more appreciated. Dew provides moisture, without inconvenience.

Rain represents an activity with a long-term sustaining effect. Dew, in contrast, symbolizes activity providing immediate joy and benefit. He explains that the Torah combines the benefits of rain and dew. Like rain, Torah sustains life.

Through observance and study of the Torah we can achieve eternal life in the world to come. The Torah also has the quality represented by dew – immediate gain. We are not required to sacrifice happiness in this life. Instead, the Torah enhances our temporal existence in the material world.”

So what does this metaphor of clouds without rain mean?

Clouds without rain are those who have the appearance of God’s presence, His anointing (a cloud), but without having rain (TORAH)!

The Jewish philosopher Philo also expressed, the goal of any kind of instruction given by God is to be salvation, especially as human beings understand their limitations in light of His eternal holiness and perfection. And while it is most imperative for us to obey the Lord,  it drives us to the cross of Yeshua in confession and repentance,  seeing the Holy Spirit take up residence within us and transform us to be more like Him.

Therefore the Law (Torah) has become our tutor to lead us to Messiah, so that we may be justified by faith.” Therefore we stay i need for the (Torah).

We seek the dew and the rain for the days to come.

Wishing you a week filled with clouds with rain and accompanied with His dew.