An Urban Oasis with a Global (Heart) Beat
We meet on Sundays @ 2pm at West Park Presbyterian, 165 West 86th Street, NYC
Dear SANCTUARY NYC Friends,
"Ruach" is the Hebrew word for "The Breath of God". It has been said that God made us in God's image, and we have been trying to make God in our image ever since. The Bible and other sacred texts are inspired writings by human beings, who have turned this Force of the Eternal, this "All that Is' into men with anger issues, with or without long grey beards. This is called the "anthropomorphizing" of the ineffable. In other words, in order to try to understand this awesome force, folks have tried to put a face on it and more often than not, they have put the face of an abusive parent on this Force of Love and Life.
I love the Baha'i phrase "Worship the Light, not the Lamp!" What does this mean? Well, if you make the Force of the Universe which animates all living things into a person...DON"T forget that it is the Spirit of Life in that person you created that is the Force...we are warned in many, many wisdom texts, and surely should be cautious if we look at human history, NOT to worship PEOPLE!!! We are in an age of celebrity which absolutely tears up the people behind the images we create as objects of worship. We watch one talented teacher or actor or singer after another reach the pinnacle of celebrity, and then crash and burn. We live vicariously through the drama of the Kardashians or the "Real " Housewives of Atlanta at our peril...I mean love the fabulous clothes, get a couple of great decorating ideas, and snap out of it!
YOU possess the power of the true and living Ruach in you. And the whole point of the Creation stories which abound in each culture, is to explain the unexplainable...this miracle of life...in some form which can be understood. The problem comes when we start interpreting the wisdom texts through a lens of control. Religions are about managing the message, and managing people, and creating franchised paths to G-d. Like Starbucks or Kentucky Fried ...well, you get it. People have been trying to sell tickets to get to G-d for millenia. That's what made Martin Luther mad enough to nail his "Protest" on the door of the Catholic Church - where he was a priest. (And then the Protestants perfected the art of free floating guilt without any confessional to get rid of it) :)
God IS LOVE. The Breath of God is LIFE. Rabbi Jesus says "I come that you may have LIFE and have it more abundantly". Meaning.."I come to remind you WHO YOU REALLY ARE!!!"
I heard some wonderful speakers this last week. Each of them said something which has really strengthened and encouraged me, but you may be surprised to hear who got to me the most. I heard Joyce Meyer say something I wanted to share with you all. Her fundamentalist theology makes me cringe, but her deep understanding of the way love works honestly transcends that. She said, "GOD IS NOT MAD AT YOU!!!!!!!" How cool is that? Go Joyce!! The Breath of Life brings, well, LIFE...not judgement or destruction. And the Breath of Life is not mad at you!!!
This month at SANCTUARY NYC we are dancing in the Spirit of Creation, of Re-Birth, and are using the metaphor of the poem as our frame. "You can't rush a poem" is our theme...But you CAN get in sync with the Breath of Life, which creates the poem, and become part of the dance of creation.
As we feel the Spring greet us through the warm temperatures and in the chirping of the birds, I encourage you to contemplate your connection to the life force, to the Ruach...You are a reality star...starring in your own life. And each of us is called to use our unique gifts to circulate the blessing of life, to BE and SERVE our fellows...to Be the change we want to see - once we remember who we are.
You can't keep it if you don't give it away.
Have a great week,
See you Sunday at 2 at West Park Presbyterian.