Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Brian’s Reflection: Tuesday, August 28, 2012

One ought, every day at least,
to hear a little song,
read a good poem,
see a fine picture,
and if it were possible,
to speak a few reasonable words.

Born on this date, 1749

Goethe’s words remind me of the incredibly privileged Life I have …. and of the number of people for whom it isn’t possible to do what he suggests. My brother recently sent me a PP (Power Point). It pointed out that if we had 100 people representing the population of the Earth, 80 of them would live in poverty, and 70 would be illiterate. 50 would suffer from hunger and malnutrition. 1 would own a computer. And 1 would have a university degree.

A little song? Maybe. I’ve lived in many poor places in my Life … and people did sing. But. Read a poem? See a fine picture? Unlikely. One of the most desolate places I’ve ever been was Mobile Alabama in the 70’s. Perhaps speak a few reasonable words. To be honest, I’ve heard those more in barrios and in Nicaraguan villages and in tiny Italian hilltowns than I’ve heard in most of America these days. I thank God for Bill Moyers every day! And the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Goethe has pulled me back. I’m “retired” … and yet the days fly by filled will all kinds of stuff. I’ve put his quote in my laptop Kalendar each day. I am blessed to have XM satellite radio … I can listen to beautiful song every day all day if I want. I can find poems and beautiful pictures online. I can communicate in many ways and try to say a few reasonable words … and listen to many from around the World. How blessed I am.

I won’t get far … but I’ll do what little I can to make it possible for us all to follow Goethe’s path.


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Brian’s Reflection: Sunday, August 26, 2012

Jesus said, “Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever." ….. Jesus knew from the first who were the ones that did not believe, and who was the one that would betray him. And he said, "For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father."

John 6 [The Gospel for Sunday, August 26, 2012 – Proper XVI, Year B RCL ]

Our new Rector Paul is giving the 4th of four sermons on the Eucharist today. They’ve been excellent. In good solid Anglican sacramental tradition, he’s been emphasizing the connection between the physical things we “use” and the deep symbolic, metaphorical, of-the-soul meaning and implications.

Jesus makes it clear (I think) that He’s not talking about physical flesh and blood in this passage from the Gospel version called John. Today, I think that Jesus wants His followers to see the great vision of Life  -  Life that goes on “forever”  -  when lived “in God”, the fountain of all that comprises the Mystery we call Life. Literalism is a killer; I think Jesus makes that clear. Living only on the literal level  -  material things, etc  -  prevents the spirit from ever flowering.

I’m sure you’ve had grand preachers today who have lifted you up into the Holy vision of fullness of Life! God bless our preachers! I know that you’ve experienced in worship today being reached out to and raised up like Peter out of the drowning waters into a giddy sense of Life’s  -  your Life’s and our Life together  -  possibility for Joy. “Flesh and Blood” pour love and generosity and kindness and compassion into our veins, and we burst with Life to share with each other.

Literalism is killing us in America these days on every level. My hope is that my Life and ours can be witnesses to the deep Life of “living in” the God Who is Eternal Life.