An oral tradition is not an act of remembering. It’s an act of maintenance. When something that was written 800 years ago is passed from one generation to the next, it stops being 800 years old, and becomes something that your grandmother taught you.
When we find ourselves on the edge — confronted by the inevitable challenge of our mortality, facing eternity, we are humbled by a mystery that cannot be fathomed.
This is a moment of religious desperation, a moment when try, in vain, to tame the ultimate.
the heart, by itself is a biological necessity, but the heart with eyes is a religious necessity.
The heart must interact with the rest of the world. Then the heart is given meaning. Then the life is given purpose.
This change — this transformation from heat wave to cold snap… from flourishing to dormancy, from ripple, to ice…is a seasonal reminder that we must learn to be good at letting go; a reassurance, built into the cycle of our lives, that there is no such thing as sadness without beauty…
Prayer does not take away our responsibility.
Because prayer is not simply a speaking outwards toward God.
Prayer is more than that. Prayer is an acting inward toward God.
Climate change is not going to go away if we ignore it.
We are confronted with the singular concern of our time.
The singular problem that faces not only our community, but our species.
None of us like being confused. Confusion, for most of us, is a state of anxiety, that we like to abolish with the appearance of certainty. But perhaps there is a kind of confusion – a glorious confusion, that helps us to get close to God.
It would be a lot more convenient for everyone involved if the chaotic, ugly, and frustrating could be safely stowed in a box in the basement while the transcendent, beautiful and adorable could be displayed prominently on the dining room table – never the twain shall meet!
But, unfortunately, that’s not the case. Opposites may be opposite, but they are not separate.
Being chosen by God is generally considered to be a good thing.
After all, when God is on your side, you must be pretty powerful, right?
But as these stories suggest, it is not that simple.
We’ve been telling ourselves that everything is fine – that the insurance policy is paid up, that the EMT’s are well-trained, and that our hospitals are top notch… but we have secretly suspected that something may not be quite right. And when a gun appears, we are stricken with flash of certainty – everything that society has done to create the illusion of safety – all of it, it turns out, is utterly useless.