Friday, March 25, 2005
We went to church last night, in great part because Veronica told us it would be short. No such luck, but God met us there anyway.
My mind was wandering while the pastor droned on and on. At one point my eyes focused in on the communion table. We had eaten the bread and were waiting to be served the "cup" so I started thinking how just awful the"grape juice" is that they use at our church. It can't be real juice, instead it's some syrupy, chemically, fake, purple stuff. It struck me how far that purple drink is from blood, especially from the lifeblood of Jesus that somehow not only pumped through God incarnate but also had the power, the "Deep Magic from before the Dawn of Time," to pay for our sins.
The contrast of those two liquids became for me a great image for the contrast between the syrupy thinness of what we do here on earth compared to the richness and power of the eternal reality. At the same time, as I looked at emotion on the faces of people around me (we were seated sort of "in the round") and heard several people share ways that specific verses they had been given at the comunion table minutes before spoke directly to them, I couldn't avoid the fact that God shows up and infuses our thin efforts with eternal richness.
Nontheless i'm not sure whether I can deal with more long-winded rambling and lots of syrupy hymns tomorrow at 1 pm. :-)
Sunday, March 13, 2005
As we were walking down towards the road where our car was parked, I looked back up the hill and the beauty stopped me in my tracks. The sun was pouring in the spaces between the tall pines, lighting up the new green grass below.
I thought how a scene like that gives rise to the idea of fairies because you recognize that something is infusing it with a quality beyond the natural reality of the place. There is a beauty, a delight, that you know is unique to that moment; it is transitory, ephemeral. You know that next time you go, or maybe even next time you look, it won’t be there.
Lately I’ve been rereading my journals, looking to glean insights for the future from what God has taught me in the past. Much of what I have written down is passages of Scripture that were particularly meaningful to me at the moment when I wrote it. But as I look at them now it’s like looking up that hill without the strong afternoon light falling on new grass. I see the words but what made them special — the illumination of the Spirit falling on the fresh growth of the moment — isn’t there. It’s just a hill with trees, all well and good, but not magic.
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