Monday, March 28, 2016

Believe It Or Not

Palm Sunday Sunrise

Notes toward next year's Easter Sermon:

1. Cassandra. Be sure to liven things up a bit, shed a little doubt, spread a little worry, a little realism, a little heartbreak.

2. The friend (ordained, Wise Woman, Spiritual Advisor Extradorinaire) who paid me the compliment of likening my blog posts to sermons.

3. The friend (self - ordained, priestess, Earth Angel & Goddess Among Women) who told me something she remembered from childhood -- when "a preacher came to our church when I was a kid, part of whose credentials read "self-ordained." HA! That's me, I think, in the advice department." Me too, though such a faithless one at times, as well as self - certified primary health care provider; I know best! (gmail: 2 / 28 / 09)

4. A Prayer for Owen Meaney: "Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief" (Mark 9: 24). Doesn't that say it all? Especially for a Gemini -- belief / unbelief -- what's the difference really? They go together.

Vernal Equinox Over the Wabash

5. Statement of belief from an introspective friend:
"Sometimes I wish I still went to church. But the boys picked up early on that I wasn't really connecting with the creeds, like I think you should if you're going to say them. And I couldn't satisfactorily answer their excellent questions. But I'm still somehow the "mascot for God" in our family, because I sometimes want to say grace or go to a church service, or talk about the Mystery in some form or fashion! That qualifies me, among this apostate crowd! Of course I do believe every second that God exists and wishes me and everyone else every good and perfect thing, and I am thankful for these blessings in a pretty steady stream of beatitudes. It's a faith that just comes out, moreso than goes in, if that makes sense." (gmail: 8 / 28 / 06)
6. Subversive murmurings and how I feel about repeating some so - called truths about mysteries that I can never really be sure about, e.g.:
God from God, Light from Light, True God from True God -- yes
of one being with the Father -- no
He will come again in glory -- okay
to judge the living and the dead -- no
his kingdom will have no end -- yes
We believe in the Holy Spirit -- yes
who proceeds from the father and the son -- no
We believe in the resurrection of the body -- well, not really
and the life of the world to come -- surely yes, in some way or another . . . (such as, "then shall I know . . . ")
7. I know that everyone is always quoting the "Faith, Hope, and Love" part, but I have always liked the "Knowledge" part best:
"For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity / love."
1 Corinthians 13: 9 - 13 (KJV)
I actually do believe that "now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known." I like to think that someone out there somewhere knows more about me than I know about myself, and that one day I'll be able to see the complete picture of my own life in a way that I just don't have access to right now. One day my partial (i.e.,"imperfect") knowledge of this entire puzzling, chaotic universe shall be made whole (i.e., "perfected") and that will be heaven.

Rise and Shine Over the Atlantic

8. Some other things to believe in: Christmas, the precession of the equinoxes, the miracle of oxygen, the lifelong quest for truth and beauty, and of course the pursuit of knowledge. "All who seek the truth are welcome here." "None forbidden, none compelled."

9. The wisdom of refreshingly cynical kids, blurting out things like, "Okay, now remind me again just what is so important about Jesus." Or "Well, maybe that's just not any of God's business!" On the April 29, 2008 episode of the Colbert Report, author Anne Lamott quotes her ten - year - old son Sam as saying, "God has to sort of let life do its thing." I think my sons would agree.

10. If my life depended on it: "I believe, I believe, I know it's silly, but I believe."

The Ecclesiastical / Paschal Moon
Oh, Goddess, how long?
May the Goddess hasten the day!

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