Thursday, January 3, 2013

Christmas Daily Dose - Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus

+In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Daily Readings

Reflection by Jim Dryden, a parishioner

There are a few passages in Scripture that always have spoken to me. When I hear or read them, they strike my eyes and ears differently than other passages in the Bible and somehow cut through all of the junk in my life to go straight to my heart.

Today’s first reading from the First Letter of John contains one of those passages:

See what love the Father has bestowed on us
that we may be called the children of God.
Yet so we are.
The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
Beloved, we are God’s children now;
what we shall be has not yet been revealed.
We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him,
for we shall see him as he is.

This brief passage reminds me, when I need reminding (as I often do), that we are God’s children now. Now. N-O-W. Not next week, not after we die. Today. NOW.

It reminds me that the kingdom of God isn’t something that’ll come along someday. It’s not something that depends on my getting my act together so that God is willing to reward me and allow me to be part of “the family.” That gift already has been given. I might not want to accept it. I might not think I’m worthy. But being one of God’s children isn’t a thing that’s “out there” and far away, some far-off pipe dream. It’s simply reality. And it is my reality right now. Yours too. Now.

But even accepting the fact we already are children of God, it gets even better. The reading also contains the promise that one day “we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.”

I don’t know whether that means singing seraphim and cherubim, stars in the night sky, a pink and purple sunset over an ocean or the hand of an infant tightly wrapping itself around my finger. But if I had to guess, I’d say that God is revealed in all of those things. However, even though the kingdom of God is already here in front of me, I find I need to remember to look for it. Richard Rohr is fond of saying, “what we see depends onhow we see,” or, maybe in this case it would be better to say, “whom we see.”

Another favorite spiritual writer, Paul Coutinho, says one of the big problems many of us face in the spiritual life is that we aren’t willing to embrace who and what we really are. We are made in the Divine image. We were made to both see God as he is and to become like God ourselves. But we know our faults and failings so well that often we aren’t willing to believe that we are, in fact, God’s children. Now. In this new year, I need to embrace that truth about myself, and about the people I meet each day.

Maybe if I can remember that, and embrace it, it’ll be easier to see that the kingdom of God already is here. Maybe it’ll also be easier to recognize myself as a child of God. Now. 

+In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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