22 February 2013

6 meditations...

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On this post:
-  What are we looking for?
-  To Finn MacKull, our cat who is missing...
Each day has it´s worries
- "Us" and "The other"
- "old" and "new life"



3rd Feb -  What are we looking for?

What am I looking for?
What are we looking for?
Bono, on his U2 song “I still haven´t found what I´m looking for” , was speaking about the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in Heaven…
He knew God, he had experienced the power of God through healing, he had experienced the authority of Jesus defeating evil, he understood and believed in the cross, what brings all humanity to be one, and how he had nothing to be ashamed of and nothing to be condemned or accused for… but still, he couldn´t see much of the kingdom of God on earth, amongst all the wars and divisions, people dying everyday with lack of food and clean water, while others create waste and swim in swimming pools…
At the time U2 was seen as a “christian band”, but when that song was released, many christians within churches assumed they couldn´t be “real” christians, because if they were, they would be satisfied with Jesus and not in need to look out for more…
I´m pretty sure they are still singing the same today as the world hasn´t changed much since they first wrote this song… I dare to say that things seem to be even worse, or at least we have much more access to what´s going on in the world today…
I´m not one who likes focusing only on the bad news that are happening, actually I´m a bit rubbish keeping up with the news… I know there are a lot of good and hopeful things happening every single day and at every single moment…
But going back to Bono´s song, what he was crying out about was his willingness to not only pray and believe, but start acting… to stop “playing church”, if you know what I mean, and start acting uppon all the injustice he was aware in the world… I´m guessing he went for it, as today he´s pretty much involved in all sorts of justice campaigns…
Going back to my initial question.
What am I looking for?
And what am I doing about it ?
I´m not sure I will be able to answer this right now as it will probably become and ongoing question for my everyday life.
Some people also say : “ Be careful with what you pray for… you might be the answer for it.” … I´m not sure it´s something we need to be careful with, but be open for…
When we pray for those in pain, are we willing to comfort them?
When we pray for the poor or those in need, are we willing to help them in practical ways?
When we pray for the earth, are we willing to nurture and care for it?
When we pray for ourselves, are we willing to change?

5th Feb – to Finn McKull, our cat who is missing…

“For the fate of humans and the fate of animals is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and humans have no advantage over the animals; for all is vanity. All go to one place; all are from the dust, and all turn to dust again.” (Ecclesiastes III. 19,20)

I love nature and all creation… I could contemplate for hours on its beauty, and harmony and sometimes even its humour…
Yet, it can be so cruel as well.
The same with humanity, we can appreciate so many beautiful and good things, yet we can also see or hear about so many cruelties.
I think there is not much difference between the human world and the animal world or the plant´s world…
Death is common, greed is common, survival instincts are common…
A cat hunts and steals for survival, sometimes even just to play… And a cat gets hunted too by stronger animals, including humans.
The “law” of “The strong survive” is at play at every moment in creation, and that´s not beautiful… that´s sad and even feels unfair…
Did we humans, learnt that with animals and plants? Or did animal and plants learnt that from us? I guess we are all part of nature, or creation…
I don´t know…
We are all bonded to death and decay… we all want balance and harmony, but what does that mean? Is it even possible or is an utopia?

 For all of creation is waiting, yearning for the time when the children of God will be revealed.  You see, all of creation has collapsed into emptiness, not by its own choosing, but by God’s. Still God placed within it a deep and abiding hope that creation would one day be liberated from its slavery to corruption and experience the glorious freedom of the children of God. For we know that all creation groans in unison with birthing pains up until now. And there is more; it’s not just creation—all of us are groaning together too. Though we have already tasted the firstfruits of the Spirit, we are longing for the total redemption of our bodies that comes when our adoption as children of God is complete— for we have been saved in this hope and for this future. But hope does not involve what we already have or see. For who goes around hoping for what he already has? But if we wait expectantly for things we have never seen, then we hope with true perseverance and eager anticipation.”
(Romans VIII. 19-25)

This makes me think that in this life we will never get the whole picture…
But we were given hope, that there is a life beyond death where there is real harmony, where death and evil no longer exist, where there is no need to thrive, and fight and compete, for we will all be at peace and content  with who we are and what we have… There will be no need for dominion and there will be no stronger or weaker for we will all be satisfied…
Rest at last, isn´t that what we are all looking for?

Rest in peace Finn McKull… I love you and it was a real pleasure to get to know you… thank you for all your love and affection and for teaching me to be still and contemplate the beauty around me…
I hope to see you again one day.

6th Feb – Each day has it´s worries

There is no need to stress or worry, or feel overwhelmed, for a day only has a certain amount of sunlight…
We can make plans and look forward, but we can only do certain things each day…
There are already certain things we do everyday:
Cook and having meals (if we´re not fasting), cleaning and washing up, take care of our animals´needs, and at this season, make fire to warm us up and wash… We also need time to be with ourselves and alone with God, to meditate and pray… and times to rest is vital…
The rest of the time is left for the day to tell us what can we do with it…
In a farm setting, as I am at the moment, specially in pioneering stages, it´s hard not to get overwhelmed… there are always things to be done, stuff to repair, trees to tender, seeds to plant and so on… the seasons and the moon also tell us what can we do and not do… today it´s good for prunning and so we will focus our energy to do so to our pear trees and olive trees…thers is no need to think about all the other things that need to be done, for there will come a time for those…
We can only trust, and live day by day.
It´s only when we look back in a month, or year, that we realise how much we accomplished.
One step at a time, that´s how we should walk in life.

8th Feb – “Us” and “the Other”

Ephesians IV. 17-24
In the hebrew mindset (as in any other group of people), there were them, the Israelites, and the other, the “gentile”… I was wondering what this term meant.
We can conclude that when Jesus summarized God´s will for humankind as “Love the other as yourself” , along with loving God, he meant that we are to love, not only “our kind”, or those we are familiar with, but also the stranger and foreigner as we love ourselves.
From the beginning to the end of the Hebrew “Holy Scriptures”, the Gospels and the reports of Jesus´disciples, a “Savior” is mentioned who will be a Light for all peoples in the world…
God was revealed personally and had a personal journey with this small people group we know as the people of Israel… Jesus was revealed to this people as the very Son of God, the same they were following and worshiping… But this revelation was for all human kind, to turn our darkness into Light, and to change our lifestyle… one of selfishness, greed, hate and all human weaknesses into a new life, a spiritual life of love, of sharing in community, of mercy and compassion, of justice and peace, of hope and righteousness… not self-righteousness, but that which is given by God to all…
God wanted to model an ideal relationship between human kind and The Divine… Israel, for a time, was in total submission to God, as the ultimate authority… a kind of anarchy with God… until they chose to have a king, a human ruler, like all the foreign people groups had… but that would be another topic to meditate…
Paul  was speaking with the believers in Christ from the community in Ephesus, where people were not really connected personally with God but they had many gods to serve their own wishes and desires, not a God they would serve and obbey… They were not really concerned in developing a personal and spiritual relationship with a God, but they were living their lives ruled by their own human desires of greed and selfishness, only caring about meeting their body´s needs and not so much caring for their spirits and souls…
They were called, like all human kind, to live a life renewed in the spirit, with higher concerns rather than their own selfish needs…
God is calling all of us to live a life like Jesus lived, in true righteousness and holiness, not thinking only about himself, but putting others first…
That in itself it´s a massive challenge, one we can only embrace with the Spirit of Jesus in us daily…in a relationship manner, and not in a fearful manner…

A meditation I read today from Richard Rohr

“We see in the Gospels that it’s the lame, the poor, the blind, the prostitutes, the drunkards, the tax collectors, the sinners, the outsiders, and the foreigners who tend to follow Jesus. It is those on the inside and the top who crucify him (elders, chief priests, teachers of the Law, scribes, and Roman occupiers). Shouldn’t that tell us something really important about perspective? Every viewpoint is a view from a point, and we need to critique our own perspective if we are to see and do the full truth. We fail to appreciate liberation theology because of 1,700 years of interpreting the Scriptures from the perspective of the empowered clergy class, rather than from the perspective of the marginalized who first received the message with such excitement. Once Christianity became the established religion of the Roman Empire (after 313 AD), we largely stopped reading the Bible from the side of the poor and the oppressed. We read it from the side of the political establishment and, I am sorry to say, from the priesthood side which was often eager to keep us codependent on their ministrations, instead of from the side of people hungry for justice and truth. No wonder Jesus said, “I did not come for the healthy but for the sick” (Mark 2:17). This priority has the power to constantly detach religion from its common marriage to power, money, and self-importance.”

9th feb – “old” and “new” life

What does the “old” and “new” life mean when Jesus´disciples spoke about it?
Ephesians IV. 25-31
What changes in us that makes us change?
This is more important than the changes themselves.
We can suddenly change our attitudes towards ourselves and others, but if those are merely moral rules we will not be truthful, and we may even become hypocrites... We need to change inside, and then our attitudes will be simply a result of that...
If I was used to steal, or to lie, and I stop it because someone says it´s bad, I cannot say necessarily that I´ve changed... My attitudes have changed, maybe because I feared being rejected or not accepted in a certain group... but what about my heart? Would this be real change? I don´t think so...
Only Love can change, not rules, not fear, not guilt nor condemnation...
What make people change from “old” to “new” ?
We are complex beings, as God is... our image... We have a body and a soul, a human nature, and we have a spirit... 3 realms of manifestation of who we are... the same with God... who is a Soul, a Spirit, and was manifested in a human body ... I know I´m being simplistic in such a complex matter, but I just wanted to take this on board...
I wonder if our “old life” is when the human part of our soul stands out and leads our life...
We are then led into all sorts of selfish decisions... we just think about our selves and we just we just seek to satisfy our body needs... In extreme cases, this can lead us to the most horrific things we can imagine humans capable of... there is no thought about the other, and the irony is that there is no thought about ourselves neither... It is a path that leads to destruction...
The spirit is in a dark place, almost unnoticed...
I believe change comes when Light awakens the spirit... suddenly we realise there is something more, beyond our bodies, and thoughts and feelings... there is something more than what we can see with our eyes...
Here we can also take 2 paths... our spirit can be awaken by Light or by darkness... by Love or by fear... by Good or by evil...
If by darkness, or fear, or evil, our spirit will be still led or fed by our ego , our pride and selfishness... this can be disastrous...
If Light is revealed, our eyes are open, we have a feeling of being found, of coming home. Finally our being is complete and clear open before us...
Body , soul and spirit become one, not fighting with each other, not competing for leadership, but in harmony, and at peace...
I guess that´s what means the peace that the Holy Spirit gives us, for us to maintain and keep this peace... this means, that, after achieving this peace we will still have to feed ourselves with the Light... I don´t like dualism, and I´m guessing that Light and darkness, Love and fear, good and evil will always be present at the same time... anyway, that is another discussion...
Light is carried by Love, and before we learn to love others, we realise Love inside us... Love is now the link between our spirit, soul and body...
When this happens, we change... our whole worldview gets a different perspective... We can´t be selfish anymore, we can´t be untruthful to ourselves or others, we can´t steal or kill... For we understood what Love is... We´ve received forgiveness... the body forgives the soul and the spirit and vice-versa... We can´t but forgive others too... in the hope that they also may see the Light within...
The “old” can no longer exist, for the “new” has come... what was incomplete, si now complete... It´s not a matter of being perfect or holy, but it is a journey towards it... forgiveness will be the breath of this journey, being kind to ourselves and to others while we struggle between the “self life” and the “spirit life”... A life led by our ego, or by the Spirit of Light...

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