Featured Posts

<< >>

Science is not secular

We live in a secular society, which for most people means separation of church and state. We have this idea that church simply should not be political or involve itself

Love

So let’s talk about love. What could be easier, love is after all the foundation of the Christian faith right! Love is the cornerstone, Love is the air that we breath, all

Why are we so afraid?

Those of you who have heard me teach have probably heard me say that joy is the Christian trademark, well that and or grace. While there are a lot of

Peace is not a circumstance

Most people have had this thought, I know I have, If I could just find some peace and quiet, then I could sort out my issues and get on with

Love is not a theory

We talk about love a lot, we say that: God is love! The scriptures say it over and over again, they even say that unless you are in love, saturated

Falling upwards or sin is not that bad

sinSo this week we are talking about sin. It doesn’t happen a lot around here. I abhor the notion of sin, not because of what it means but because of the cultural baggage that we have attached to the idea.

Let me just say outright that the whole concept of a catalogue of sin, certain actions being in themselves sinful, is a very unhelpful way of thinking about sin.

Sin in the scriptures

In the holy texts there is no one word for sin! This is important. We believe that sin is a single thing. But reading the New Testament we find 10 different words that derive into 33 different notions of sin.

One means to refuse to listen to the prompting of the divine. One means to fall when one should have stood up. One means to not arrive with full measure. One means to miss the mark.

Missing the mark

The most important or at least the most frequently used word for sin in the new testament is hamartia which means to miss the mark. This word is used 147 times in the books of the New Testament. The word is what would be used at an archery competition for a shot that didn’t hit the bulls eye in the middle of the target. So this tells us that the New Testament idea of sin is almost but not quite, it’s close but no cigar, it’s simply put ‘not perfect’.

Seen from this perspective, sin, is just all the attempts before we get it right. It is the stepping stones towards success, it’s every dropped ball as I learn to juggle. It is every misstep on the way towards the ultimate goal.

What then is the goal?

See that is the ultimate question, isn’t it. If sin (and this seems to be a major focus in church these days) is missing the goal, what then is the goal? Jesus seems to summarise the goal by quoting the Shema, Love the lord your god with all your heart and soul and mind and love your neighbour as yourself. In the light of this the goal is love. From the perspective of the perennial tradition, the goal is to be reunited with the divine. In my eyes tees two perspectives focus into a single goal, unity with god, immersed in love or maybe being divine love.

Sin shows us the way!

So from this perspective, missing the mark, falling when one should have been standing or showing up without full measure, sin is simply the indicator of how far from hitting the mark we are; showing us when and where to keep standing; showing us when we are holding back and not being ourselves fully.

Like Paul says about the law, it only shows us that we ‘are not there yet’. Sin then simply is life’s feedback, it is the ego popping up saying: ‘Hey, I am still here’. It is simply the absence of divine love in our thoughts and actions.

 

Shame or guilt?

If sin is simply how far we are from perfect then it’s not something we should beat ourselves up about. Here is where a healthy view on guilt and shame is very helpful.

To be guilty is to own your thoughts and actions. It is to say, Yes! It was me I did that, or I thought that. Guilt shouldn’t have to carry any enmotion with it. You can also be guilty of good things. Yes, I did that, I did the dishes, I am guilty! Guilt is the healthy confession to oneself and to others, it is the owning of ones thoughts and actions.

Shame on the other hand is a diabolical feeling. Instead of acknowledging an action or a thought and owning it, shame morphs into self hatred with: I did it, I am an awful and disgusting person, I understand that you want nothing to do with me.

If there is such a person as the devil, then shame is the only weapon that the devil ever had. The deception of shame is to transform guilt (owning the action or thought) into self hatred and self abasement, thus creating self made barriers between oneself and love.

So we need to let go of shame and let self awareness and self critique show us how we have missed the mark, not fully been our true selves, and then autocorrect, do over and do better.

Falling upwards

When we can simply observe our daily shortcomings own them and learn from them, they become the stepping stones towards wholeness (holiness). Therefore it becomes evident that the one that falls often and gets up again, grows much. And so step by misstep we fall upwards towards wholeness and divine love!

Science is not secular

machinery-of-the-stars-2We live in a secular society, which for most people means separation of church and state. We have this idea that church simply should not be political or involve itself in matters of state. In the same way we have this notion that church has nothing to do with science and that science have nothing to do with church. Christians in most peoples minds are a backwards people not interested in or even working against science.

The word secular comes from latin seculare which means temporal as opposed to eternal. So originally secular means everything inside the time and space continuum, the Christian religion was supposed to deal with things eternal, that is, things outside time and space.

As above so below

What we are finding though, is that the temporal that which is bound to cycles of birth, ripening, wilting, dying and rebirthing is the way of the eternal. Jesus, who is our image of all things eternal, was born, matured, died and ressurected. So we are finding that this earthly or temporal cycle is the way of things eternal. We are finding as we are gazing into the heavens with better and better telescopes that what we see out there is the same thing we see in our better and better microspcopes. With the advent of quantum physics we are learning that the study of our world is the study of the eternal.

The theopoesis of science

The finer detail science tries to paint the more the language of the scientist starts to sound like the language of the theologian, it is riddled with metaphors and poetic language. This because language is not adequate to express the eternal, no language, not even mathematics.

FlammarionWoodcutScience, while studying things temporal has always uncovered things eternal, science has never been secular in the sense of separation (although many scientists have tried). Science was from the very beginning the art of discovering god through studying the creation. Since “the enlightenment” science has tried to break up with religion with varying degree of success. Like disgrunted lovers, science and religion have wrestled and fought, ignored each other, engaged in heated arguments only to fall back in each others arms. Because the study of god’s creation will always lead to the discovery of the immanent divine presence.

Science is not secular

So here we are, try as we might to make clear distinction between disciplines, the lines will always be blurred because you can never analyse a pice of art without at some point take into account the artist. You can never truly digest a poem without picking up the resonance of the poet. You may do so unknowingly, but the true scientist will never stop at unconscious knowing but will always relentlessly push deeper into truth, into reality and at the very core of reality at the very center of truth, there rests the divine source, the source of love.

Love

wpid-Photo-27-maj-2012-0943.jpgSo let’s talk about love. What could be easier, love is after all the foundation of the Christian faith right! Love is the cornerstone, Love is the air that we breath, all you need is love!

Then again for as long as humans have walked the earth we have tried to define love and make sense of why love is so essential to us even though we can’t really put our finger on how or why.

All we now is that love is addictive like a drug, love lifts us up where we belong, all you need is love.

But we also know that love drives us all a little mad, love makes us do crazy things. Love makes introverts extrovert and extroverts introvert, love makes shy people sing and love can cause any one to do the most extraordinary and outlandish things.

“Love is insanity”

True love

From the day we turn on our first Disney flick we are taught that there is something called true love, and if Disney are to be believed: “True love’s kiss” is the most potent magic ever conjured up by mankind.

But there is something else that the idea of true love conveys, leaving behind the childish notion of “one true love”, no the idea of true love tells us that there is such a thing as false love.

C.S. Lewis calls this need-love and give-love, the distinction being that need-love is a love that is given only because we need love, give-love on the other hand is given simply as is with no expectation of a returned love, or need for it.

When we say that god is love, this is what we mean, god who loves, unconditionally and without either restraint or limit. This is true love and so true love is more than a feeling and more than a decision and even more than an action, true love is an elevated state, it is being. But true love is not just being it is BEING, as in the ultimate being.

Now C.S. Lewis is quick to warn us that while god is love, love is not god because, Lewis says, when love is made god it turns perverted and demonic. I am not sure I agree, but I do know that need-love or ego-love as I prefer to call it when elevated to godhood turns a diabolical tyrant.

We all have traces of ego-love, but we must understand that ego-love is also a love and the true-love can be thought to build on top of it or, maybe its better if I put it this way, once ego love grows and transcends the boundary of ego it transmutes into true love. Now, here is the secret of expanding ego-love. Ego-love thinks that it grows by gripping tighter, by contracting and becoming more and more focussed and narrow, this is of course not true. The more exclusive and narrowly focussed ego-love gets, the more it suffocates the flame and eventually it will snuff it out. Ego-love expands and grows only by relaxing and letting go, by allowing air, space and freedom by transmuting need into free gift. This of course feels like death to the ego and therefore the ego will kick and scream and give you hell every step of the way.

The stages of love

So in our traditions holy scriptures we have a few very descriptions of love, in the Old Testament we have Dod, Ahava and Raya. In the New testament we have Eros, Storge & Phileo and Agape.

I am thinking that these different words for love embodies different stages, resonances or harmonies of love. I think maybe I need to already at the outset say that while this maps out a progression, an expansion of love it does not mean that any expression or stage of love is better or more loving than any other. I know at times it may sound like this and, I know I am at risk of contradicting myself, but I want to make it clear that love is love no matter how high or low the vibration.

First stage love

So let us travel this wave of love. We are human and at the start of the spectrum we find the flame of physical love, this is Eros or Dod. This vibration is part of both the biology and chemistry of the body. This is touch and feeling. This is pure and raw sexual energy.

While for us this feels like the strongest fire, a roaring flame, this is because it moves and is felt in the body, on our skin, in our muscles. It is also often the kind of love we are least comfortable with. This because we are conditioned to feel shame around this. We feel it all the same because eros is such a strong current that it completely overwhelms our senses and can therefore sometime even override the brain and our carefully constructed thought structures.

But because this vibration is bound in the body, so while it may be the strongest fire it is also the most contracted or perhaps restricted of the loves.

When Eros is in the infant state or ego state, it is a consuming fire that demands satisfaction. Not only is it need-love it can easily be characterised as GIVE-ME-love. it is desire that demands instant gratification and satisfaction. The hyper sexualisation of our society feeds on the infantile, ego driven aspect of eros.

When allowed to expand and grow eros by sheer vital force offers us a short cut to the divine. When we can allow eros freedom, space and expansion the roaring fire of eros will shoot the energies skyward, it will put us on an express elevator to the highest and most refined vibrations of love. We can make this expansion happen by practicing intense presence and awareness when we are physically connected or when we feel strong desire and then when we are totally ‘there’ we can ride this desire all the way to heaven. It also happens by transforming the need or desire to receive to become the need or desire to give. When eros is freed from the ego and given without demand or expectation it expands rapidly and takes us with it.

I think this is why the song urges us:

“Eat, friends, drink,
and be drunk with love.” (Song of Songs 5.1)

Second stage love

As we journey on we find that as we climb the foothills of the mountain of love we have settlements. Here we find both Storge (affection), Phileo (friendship) and ahava (commitment) This is love of the heart but tempered and ruled by the borders of the mind.

We categorise our love into acquaintances, friends, family and we feel stronger or weaker affection depending on the connection. The flame of ahava is a much cooler but also a much more steady flame, it will keep us out of the dark and carry us safely along our journey. C.S. Lewis actually states that 9/10ths of all our joy in life is given us through Storge the warm affection we feel for our fellow humans.

Most of us live our entire life between eros, storge and phileo and we sort all our relations in these three categories. We use different labels of relation to organise, control and contract eros and storge by use of phileo, ahava and raya (friendship, commitment, companionship). When in the infant stage or ego stage this friendship and commitment comes with a long list of expectations and demands.

I’ll be friends with you as long as I am your best friend and you spend the most time with me. I’ll commit my life to you and I will follow you, as long as you commit the same to me. If I am to love you, you must first promise to love me and actually come to think of it, I want you to love only me.

These harmonies of love, friendship and marriage especially are socially constructed, they are loves of the mind and will and when in ego states they can be very harsh and demanding. But as social contracts they are also tempered with give and take attitude, it may be need-love but it also gives.

It is in this we play out all our little relational dramas, it is here we label each other and put shackles on one another. We do it all in the name of love, though our love has yet to mature grow up and show us that we knew nothing at all about true-love.

These social or mind loves can be more or less infused with heart, when they are they expand naturally, the more heart we pour in the more we realise that the labels and the rules of the mind are inadequate to capture the beauty and the subtlety of our love and so as ego-love gives up control, expectations and demands. When we can commit to another without demanding commitment back, when we realise that our best way of loving someone is to release them into the biggest freedom we can imagine, that’s when this harmony is transmuted from ego-love to true love.

Third stage love

So moving on from the ordered settlements in the foothills we are now reaching soaring heights, the highest vibration of love, agape or simply god. This third stage of love is the unconditional love, the unlimited, unrestricted love given without discrimination and expectation.

This true-love or god-love is the source of all, it is where we come from, it is the core of our being, it is what connects you and me and everyone else in the divine.

Agape or unconditional, divine love does not discriminate, it does not hold back, it gives freely to the deserving and undeserving alike. It is an ever flowing river of love poured into our tiny cups that consequently overflow the second we step into its currents.

When we enter into agape love it is no longer we who are loving but we are love, we have accessed that inner connection with the divine and with the other and we simply are. It cannot be held back or constricted. However there is an ego version of this love but it is all together counterfeit. On the ego-level it is portrayed by prayers for world peace or a fight to end world hunger, it is the ego-expressing all encompassing love by lumping people together in groups and wishing well-fare and well being upon them….. ‘heal the world’

However this ego-conterfeit never exists on the personal level it is always inpersonal. it is always directed over there. I think this counterfeit is what James is getting at when he says you cannot love god and hate your brother. While agape blurs out all boundaries and transgresses every social construction and while it also acts as the quantum force that holds us together as a people, as a planet, as a universe it also interacts on the most personal and intimate level. it liberates, sanctifies and heals both the giver and receiver. in fact as it blurs out the boundaries there is no more giving or receiving there is just being.

This agape is the initial aim of all the other loves, it is the goal and reach of them. It is the lure of all existence. All pleasure, all longing, all desire, all beauty points towards divine love. it is the origin of all and the final destination of all.

To live in love

So what do we do with this? How do we reach this final destination? How do we partake in divine-love?

I am glad you asked!

To start with we must affirm and allow for love in all it’s harmonies to be a part of our every day lives. We must nurture and mature our love, by practicing to bring awareness, focus to our love, by being present to it and to relax in it. We must practice letting go and expanding love, to give and give more freely, to give without expectation or condition. We must cultivate affection, generosity, fondness, friendship, companionship, desire. We must embrace more, kiss more make love more. And do so consciously with awareness and without holding anything back, without hiding who we are or what we are.

Be foolishly in love because love is all there is! (Rumi)

But hey wait a minute, will we not miss the point if we love each other so? Will we not make idols of each other and by that loose sight of god?

NO, WE WILL NOT!

When we love wholeheartedly, with an elevated mature love, that love is god. Since god lives in me and god lives in you when we embrace it is god embracing god and divine love flowing freely being realsed into our midst. Gos is love and divine love is god moving, being and manifesting.

When we can embody or incarnate such a love we will truly walk like the Nasarene and wherever we go the kingdom of god will be made manifest. It will turn all our concepts of proper and socially accepted upside down, it will be death for the ego and mortally uncomfortable for those who cling to it. It will bring ridicule and hatred from those who are consciously disconnecting from divine love or those trapped in ego-love. But it will empower us and set us free, it will be divine!

Autocorrected

(c) ellieericson.wordpress.com

(c) ellieericson.wordpress.com

The text was supposed to read: I Love you! But in It’s infinite wisdom my smart phone decided to autocorrect it to: I live you!

At first it frustrated me, it happened over and over again in all kinds of texts, updates, blog posts, the word love corrected to live. And then the point began to sink in. To love is to truly live. It is only when we love that we acknowledge the connection between each other, and the infinite connection with god.

But it goes deeper still, if we are connected on this deep level, if it is true that we are all made of stardust from the same source and that at a quantum level, and at an energetic level we still are connected, then it is ever so much more true that “I live you” or perhaps I live in you, you live in me, we live in god and god lives in us. It is the teaching of the eastern greeting ‘Namaste!‘ which means something along the lines of, the divine in me greets the divine in you and by that we are connected, we are one.

It is to acknowledge god in everything and everyone, to know that every place I visit is a holy place and every person I meet is a holy person. And this god, the source of divine love, the source of all is connecting us all so that my life is not my own but truly belongs to everyone as does everyone else’s, this makes your health and wellbeing my private business and vice versa. I will care for you, and love you because in doing so I am also loving myself, and when I care for me and love me I am also caring for and loving you. When you find your soul, your unique place in the universe and hold the largest conversation with the world that you can possibly have. Then I am also being realised and set free to do and be all that I was created to be.

So I stand corrected: I Live You!

 

What did you expect?

p2544atlI have been a Christian on and off since I was 14 years old. I have prayed thousands upon thousands of prayers. Some deep and heartfelt, some pleading, some angry and demanding answers and some, I must confess, simply by routine.

I think that is why I stopped saying grace (praying, giving thanks for my food before I eat). Simply because it was a routine thing I did with no real thought, connection or even sincerity. I mean, we are hungry, we want to eat, our minds are not in that spiritual place. It’s simply easier to give thanks after, when you are, well, let’s face it, more thankful.

So I am reading about the eastern tradition of consecration. Which in many ways is just the same tradition as we have of giving thanks and blessing a meal, an event or a trip. It is the consecrating of a time or action and offering the fruits of the time or action as an offering to the divine. In many traditions it has the same words as we do in ours. But here is the kicker: in the non-christian version one of the steps is to wait for an answer. If you get no confirmation, you don’t eat, do the event or go on the trip.

Now I know, there are many Christians who walk closely with the spirit and would just say: Yea so what, what’s your point? Then again I know oh so many Christians who have never awaited an answer, especially when saying grace, when blessing a trip or a spiritual endeavour.

I think there is something here for us to take on board. If we are to walk with the spirit and if we are to be like Jesus and only say what we here the father say and do what we see the father do…. well then we need to start praying gods blessing over even the smallest action, conversation, meal, fellowship and expect an answer from the divine. If we are praying god’s blessing and then not waiting for god to actually bless it, or to accept our offering, how can we proceed with boldness and assurance that we are in the will or the initial aim of the divine? If we do not wait for the answer or even worse, don’t expect one, are we not assuming that god wants what I want? That our will is in perfect alignment with that of the divine?

I have now decided that when I ask for god’s blessing for food (which I have started doing again) or when I pray for blessing over something, I will do what I have done over all my other major decisions that I have prayed over, wait for that acceptance, the peace of god, the clarity of mind and the sign that it is ok to proceed. If we truly live in the embracing love of a living god, then we must simply expect god to answer when we pray, to accept our offerings and to interact with our daily lives through this divine spirit of love that is called “the helper”, whom is promised by scripture to guide us through our lives.

My challenge to you is, when you prayed last, what did you expect?

 

Why are we so afraid?

fear-not1Those of you who have heard me teach have probably heard me say that joy is the Christian trademark, well that and or grace. While there are a lot of really awesome teaching in most of the world religions, the idea of grace, the completely undeserved, unconditional gift that inspires a no holds barred kind of joy in the believers life.That said, I have to ask, Why are we so afraid?

When I hear Christians speak both amongst themselves and from the pulpit. We are afraid, afraid of other religions and what they might do to us, afraid of the devil and demons, afraid that god will punish us, afraid that we have gotten it all wrong, just afraid.

Isn’t it funny that gods messengers in the scriptures always starts with “do not fear”. Isn’t it funny that Jesus always speaks of love, grace and joy. There simply is nothing to fear. If god is so great then what could possibly scare us? If our god is all that, why are we afraid of Muslims, Mormons, Jehovas, Hindus, Wiccans, of Yoga, of Astrology, of secular music, Harry Potter books, of tattoos and any alternative anything.

Do we not have faith in Christos Victor?

It seems to me that Christians should be able to walk through life, and partake in all of life, fully,  without any fear; Without the fear of condemnation; Without the fear of contamination; Without the fear of the devil and most importantly without fearing god.

“Perfect love casts out all fear”

I think we need to quake with love, we need to be shaken down to our roots with love. So filled with love that wherever we go we bring love to that place, into that which we are doing transforming it in the process. Guided by the spirit of divine love I will transform anything I do into sacrament and worship whether it is a handshake or an embrace, yoga or martial arts, whether it is in a synagogue or a mosque, church or an oak grove.

Greater is the divine source within me than any opposition. If you dare greatly, you may recognise the same divine source of love operating out there in the wild just as it is inside of you and your church.

 

Peace is not a circumstance

peaMost people have had this thought, I know I have, If I could just find some peace and quiet, then I could sort out my issues and get on with it. Most people wait for the circumstances to be right, or work frantically to make the circumstances right to achieve peace.

This need for quiet and rest is a deep human need, we must have peace so that we can hear the soft inner whisper of divine love. But what if we just got it all backwards?

Could it be that we have peace, that the place of our soul, our unique space in this universe, is always at peace. Could it be that when we make that inward journey (you know the one we think requires peace to start) we actually start journeying towards the peace that was always there?

If it is true that we are all connected, that we all are part of this divine in an all encompassing interdependent network of energetic clusters, then as part of the divine source that is what we will find when we journey inwards. If we are all part of the divine source, if love is what we are at our core, then peace is what we have. The inner most truest part of us is resting in the divine source of love and is at peace, always.

If this is true then we never have to wish for peace, go look for peace or try to create peace, because peace is not a circumstance it is not dependent on external circumstances but rather a state that we are already in, if we can relax deeply into the core of our being where we will find god, where we will find peace.

Love is not a theory

heart-love-you-are-here-Favim.com-266077We talk about love a lot, we say that: God is love! The scriptures say it over and over again, they even say that unless you are in love, saturated with love, bubbling over with love, you are not with god. And so we realise that love is necessary, it’s a fundamental part of our Christian faith and lives.

But among all this love talk, how much and how deeply do we actually love? Again in church we teach that love is a verb, love is action, love is giving to those in need. I agree with all of this but also realise that all those actions can be taken without love. It can be done for a myriad of different reasons some related to love and others not.

So among all this love talk and good deeds, I want to ask with the words of the profetess Fergie: Where is the love?

Love is not a theory, but it also is not an action. Love is a reality that we inhabit. Love is our origin, our home and our destiny. Love is what is at the core of our beings when we search for the divine, we find it in love. Love is not something we can accidentally fall in or out of, it is not something that is sparked by good looks or even a beautiful soul. LOVE IS! At the center of everything there is love and when we understand that we are all connected in and through this love, then we will understand that love is not what we feel, not what we think, not what we do, but what we are!

Only love is real!

So how do we enter this reality, or rather how do we wake up to this reality? We must practice love. We must practice slowing down and finding the depth and core of ourselves (so we can find that love within) and then we must reach out and touch the people around us, embrace them, cuddle them, kiss them, love them (so that they can be touched by love from without). And then we need to make love, lots of it, in all our conscious interaction each action should make love, generate love and grow love. Lets stop talking, start making love with ourselves and the people around us and watch the love grow exponentially!

Kiss me, I am a Christian!

thinkgeek-kiss-me-im-elvish-2014-530x627-1So I was looking at one of my favourite geeky webpages when I found this T-Shirt that said: “Kiss me I’m elvish”. Which of course is a rip of of the old “Kiss me I’m Irish” slogan. And it got me thinking…
Today Christians are so afraid of any physical contact, because we have fallen into the gnostic trap of the body and it’s desires are evil and the spirit and things spiritual (that is not material) that come from god  are good. But it was not always so. over and over again the apostles, Paul in particular, but also Peter and others write to the early followers of the way to “greet each other with a holy kiss”. Most Christians are aware of the fact that the kiss was the greeting used by the disciples when they met Jesus (evidenced by Judas kissing Jesus in the garden). But as good Christians we quickly assume that it is a holy (read not very physical) peck on the cheek with an embrace that is actually not an embrace at all.

How wrong we are, and how little we understand of our heritage and in fact how great god is. For who, to quote John Eldredge in Wild at heart, made a kiss so delicious?

Peter and Paul kissing

Peter and Paul kissing

The holy kiss was a full kiss on the mouth. It was the sign of peace (eirene) and a sign of complete openness and vulnerability. It was a mimicking of god’s breath bringing life to Adam and Jesus bestowing the holy spirit through breath. It was the symbol of us all being one in Christ through the mixing of breath and closeness of the body.

Augustine wrote the following in one of his easter sermons:

Then, after the consecration of the Holy Sacrifice of God, because He wished us also to be His sacrifice, a fact which was made clear when the Holy Sacrifice was first instituted, and because that Sacrifice is a sign of what we are, behold, when the Sacrifice is finished, we say the Lord’s Prayer which you have received and recited. After this, the ‘Peace be with you’ is said, and the Christians embrace one another with the holy kiss. This is a sign of peace; as the lips indicate, let peace be made in your conscience, that is, when your lips draw near to those of your brother, do not let your heart withdraw from his. Hence, these are great and powerful sacraments.

Such openness and vulnerability, such love and intimacy. Only by being truly close to Christ and filled with spirit source and divine love could we handle this.

tumblr_static_richard_and_bobThe Irish slogan kiss me I’m Irish comes from the folkloric tradition of kissing the Blarney stone for good luck, if you could not get to the blarney stone, you took the next best thing, an Irish person! What if we would embody the love of the divine so fully and perfectly that we could experience the peace of god through the holy kiss. or if that is to sacred for our modern dulled sensibilities, a holy embrace. As Augustine rightly states, this is a sacrament!

Sinner is not our identity

True-selfI have heard it often spoken in churches, you are a sinner! We most often base this on a handful of verses out of scripture like the famous “For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of god”. And so we fall into the trap where we think that we are what we do, that our identity is our personality or our ego is who we are.

It is commonly agreed (among Christians and theologians) that out of the over twenty different words used for sin in the New Testament the most often used is hamartia missing the mark. From this point of view sin is whenever we act, not according to our true self, our essence, we sin. And while it is true that we all do this and sometimes we do this a lot, almost all the time. The truth is that it also means that we are not sinners, we are in fact children of god. We are loved by god and it is when we act not according to this true identity that we sin.

It also means that most of the time our definition of sin is sinful (miss the mark). This is true because it is when we are sad on the inside and plaster a fake smile on our lips that we sin, when we pretend to be strong and courageous, while on the inside we know that we are vulnerable and fearful. It is when we allow ourself to feel what we are really feeling deep down inside and express it that we are being true to ourselves. For example, when you hit yourself on your thumb with a hammer and you let out a litany (swearwords or not) that is a true expression of what we are experiencing in the moment, not sin. when we loose ourselves in lovemaking and we become one with our beloved with no hidden agenda or distracting thoughts we are being true and not sinful. But when our ego getsto dictate our actions and we act based on fear and unnecessary self preservation that is when we miss the mark, that is when we do not express our true identity (child of god, beloved of the divine, part of the oneness of creation).

You are not your personality, you are not a sinner not at your core, it is not your identity. John Eldredge writes in his book Wild at Heart: “Your sin is not what is most true about you.” The scriptures assert over and over again that you are loved, you are holy, you are sacred, you are divine.

This is why holiness is such a relief. Holiness is taking of the masks and relaxing into who you truly are, your essence, your origin and your destiny. It is why Jesus says come to me all who are tired and sick of it (tired of pretending, sick of playing games) because the path I will show you is easy and will give you no burden to carry, no role to fulfil. No more pretending, no more acting, no more grandstanding or posturing, no religious games or shallow piety. It is living deeply out of who you truly are giving your unique gift to the world by manifesting your essence.  Scripture tells us that we are works of art (poema) created for good works that are prepared along the way, nothing we must accomplish or make happen but moments that become beautiful just because we show up as ourselves giving our unique, deep gift, being who we where meant to be as integral parts of gods spectacular creation.

%d bloggers like this: