A Narrow Dwelling

doorway at Stirling Castle, Scotland

O Lord,
The house of my soul is narrow;
enlarge it that you may enter in.
~Augustine of Hippo

dansouterrain2

…the miracle of God comes not only from above;
it also comes through us;
it is also dwelling in us. 
It has been given to every person,
and it lies in every soul as something divine,
and it waits.
Calling,
it waits for the hour when the soul shall open itself,

having found its God and its home. 
When this is so,
the soul will not keep its wealth to itself,
but will let it flow out into the world.
~Eberhard Arnold

The Future is Possible

photo by Josh Scholten
photo by Josh Scholten
the green of Jesus
is breaking the ground
and the sweet
smell of delicious Jesus
is opening the house and
the dance of Jesus music
has hold of the air and
the world is turning
in the body of Jesus and
the future is possible
~Lucille Clifton “Spring Song”
A week later,
the rains have returned
and all seems grey
and ordinary again.
But He is extraordinary
even when we settle back to routine.
He is breaking
opening
turning around
this world of ours.
He shows us what love meant
then and now-
our future is possible
together forever.
In Jesus’ resurrected presence,
the invisible kingdom of God
has become visible reality. 

The word has taken shape,
love has become real. 

Jesus showed what love meant. 
His word and life proved
that love knows no bounds. 

Nothing is impossible
for the faith that springs
from the fire of love.
~Eberhard Arnold

Lenten Reflection–No Fear

Rembrandt's Christ at Emmaus

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear
1 John 4:18

The community of faith and community of life in the first love was marked by the risen Christ–the Christ who had said, “I am with you always.” Everything depends on seeing the mystery of the risen Christ as unconditional love. In Christ, God’s love is put into practice.
Eberhard Arnold

Of course there was plenty to fear. There had been a brutal arrest in a garden, facilitated by one of His own. The rest ran or actively denied involvement. There was a hasty hearing, and a trial of sorts, and then beatings and condemnation by acclamation. There was the impossible task of lugging a heavy cross up hill, then being attached by nails, hung, dehydrated, denigrated, left to die.

Plenty, plenty to fear. Those who loved Him were terrified.

When they returned after the Sabbath to care for His body, still concerned for their own safety, they heard again very familiar words: “Do not be afraid.” He was conceived and born under those words, and after His death, those were among the first words they heard the risen Christ say, and He repeated them as often as they needed to hear them, which was often.

Do not be afraid.

Perfect love casts out fear. As we are so flawed, so incapable of perfect-anything, we fear, and fear desperately. But because He is capable of perfect unconditional love, He demonstrates that love tangibly and palpably: breaking bread, breaking Himself, pouring wine, pouring out Himself. He creates an everlasting community of love by promising to be with us always. So we put it into practice with each other, and especially with those who are strangers and enemies.

Why fear any longer? He is walking alongside us illuminating our minds and filling our hearts, He is at the table feeding us, He is holding us as we pass into His arms.

Perfect
mysterious
unending
unprecedented
unconditional
love has no fear
forever.