Every so often, I read posts from progressive, non-fundamentalist, religiously devout people – usually Christian, but not always – on, e.g., Facebook expressing astonishment and mortification at the manner in which the conservative evangelical / Reformed Christian church (with certain conspicuous exceptions, to be sure) has slavishly rallied around the Presidency of Donald Trump. This surprise is understandable if you only pay attention to the surface rhetoric of the conservative Christian church. But focusing on the superficial, conscious, “prefrontal-cortex” part of conservative Christianity is like looking at the surface of the earth and concluding that, except for the odd volcano here and there, the earth’s core is pretty much like the earth’s surface, that is to say, pretty dull:
Tomorrow you'll be brave, you say? Fool! Dive today
From the cliff of what you know into what you can't know.
You fear the rocks? Better men than you have died on them;
Dying on Love's rocks is nobler than a life of death.
- Jalal-ud-Din Rumi
(Translated by Andrew Harvey from A Year of Rumi,
Daily OM, May 7, 2016 )
It is always “tomorrow” for me, I always want to put off taking that risk until tomorrow. Maybe that is why this saying of Rumi’s means so much to me that I want to share it with you. This week I am offering Rumi’s saying for meditation with Lectio Divina.
Place yourself in a comfortable position and allow yourself to become silent. Focus for a few moments on your breathing; or use a “prayer word” or “prayer phrase" as you gently and gradually center your
“Therefore I despise myself,
and repent in dust and ashes.”
“You desire truth in the inward being;
therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.”
Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. Growing up in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) tradition I knew about Ash Wednesday but the community I worshiped in didn’t celebrate it. It wasn’t until I was an adult, and living in California, that I really understood that having a smudge of ashes on my forehead meant repentance. Repentance is not just saying sorry, it means examining my past behavior and then changing what I do in the world, turning my actions around to behave as the faithful follower of Jesus I wish to be. And unless I begin the process of change, or at least try to repen