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life spiral

I promise I’m not in a death spiral.  Not even close.

Peter_Gertner_-_Crucifixion_-_Walters_37246Last week I put up a post called Obit.  I revealed that I have been checking the obituaries, looking at the faces, and reading the tidbits of information published in the papers.  I told you it felt honoring to do so.  I still hold to that.

Although I’ve never been one to participate in Lent-focused activities, this year, because of some new devotional material I’m sitting in, I’m reading quite a bit of scripture that correlates liturgically to the Lent season.  This is new territory for me.  And quite frankly, I love it.

It feels totally foreign and absolutely refreshing.  I also like the fact that you can’t rush it.  You have to sit in it.  You must turn all the outside stuff completely off or you miss the whispers.  Yeah, remember when you could hear Him whisper?  You’re not alone if you’re having a bit of a strain to recall the last time you felt Him get next to you.

So a couple of days ago, I sat down with my lectionary of prayers and scripture, facing again the mystery that God allows death to operate.  That day’s reading was about the crucifixion of Jesus by Walter Brueggemann.

Instead of me reposting the actual reading (which was intimidating with its big words and complex theology,) I’m going to paraphrase and give you the stuff I put in my own journal.  Trust me, you’re better off with this redneck’s regurgitation.

Here’s what I wrote:

“It was God’s announcement that the end of a world of death has concluded.  He takes death into himself.”  -Brueggemann

The natural conclusion is that God is in agreement that we die.  It is not an ongoing battle with death (He defeated death), but His approval that allows death to do its work—even though we horribly struggle with how little control we have in how, with whom, why, and when death appears.  God is not shaken or thwarted by death.  Why?  Because it is only the way of passage through the door which Christ opened for mankind.  Life at another level awaits.

“IT WAS GOD’S ANNOUNCEMENT THAT THE END OF A WORLD OF DEATH HAS CONCLUDED.  HE TAKES DEATH INTO HIMSELF.”

Richard Rohr, a Franciscan who consistently helps shape some of my spiritual thoughts, teaches that facing the ramifications of death and the absolute certainty of its eventuality, is completely necessary for real maturity (BOTH natural and spiritual).  It’s almost too late to be affected by that realization when you’re old and feeble.  The value is on the front-end, early—the beginning. It’s about the only thing that really helps us prioritize our lives when our life needs prioritizing the most.  Not facing it keeps us shallow, childish, and immature.

I don’t think we’ll ever get to the bottom of His mysteries.  I like that about our God.   It forces what we hate:  the sober realization that we’re not in control; and God moves toward our terrorized morsels of faith.  In it all we find the pulse of life.

MDP

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. onemanshowministries
    March 13, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    Welcome to the Lenten brotherhood! It has been a very meaningful time for me the last several years—and I’m a Richard Rohr fan, too.

    • March 13, 2014 at 3:40 pm

      Ahhh… Dr. Winters. Thanks for checking in! cheers mate!

  2. March 14, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    Thanks Mike… While I appreciate the reflections on death, I especially appreciated the reflections on the foreign and refreshing look at lent focused activities.

    • March 14, 2014 at 3:07 pm

      Thanks Daniel! Love you people!

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