Saturday, June 18, 2016

But anyone can find out what will happen.

Your way, O God, is holy; who is as great as our God? Psalm 77:13

The Orthodox Christians try to capture this holiness in the hundreds of bright white chapels with bright red arched roofs and crosses pointing upward that fill the small island of Mykonos.

Holy, holy, holy.

Mary Anne has been reading her way through I Kings, which is another reminder that there is nothing new under the sun, as false prophets tried to incite the leader into war against Syria, for instance, and another reminder of God’s ways are not our ways. And Elijah pretty much collapsed after his great battle with the prophets and after the great deluge of rain at last washed away the drought. He traveled for forty days and forty nights in order to lay out his litany of complaints before his God.

And God was not found in the great wind nor in the earthquake, but in the stillness.

And He did not answer the litany.

Rather He told him the next step in his further journey,

And today I reread what I wrote exactly two years ago as I sat sipping coffee in Santiago de Campostela, listening to church bells peal every half hour on the hour. And Aslan did not answer Lucy’s question about what might have been, He only asks her to follow Him, with no promises other than He would be with her.

Richard Rohr summarizes this week’s teachings:
·       It is when we begin to pay attention, and to seek integrity precisely in the task within the task, that we begin to move from the first to the second half of our own lives.

·       The only thing strong enough to move you from the first half of life to the second half is faith in the midst of suffering, the ability to bear darkness and uncertainty, to carry the mystery of paradox.

·       It's not what you do for God; it's what God has done for you. You switch from trying to love God to just letting God love you. And it's at that point you fall in love with God.

·       In the second half of life, you start to understand that life is not only about doing; it's about being.

·       The advantage of those on the further journey is that they can still remember and respect the first language and task. They have transcended but also included all that went before. 

And Mary Anne reminded me that Elijah was one of the two men who joined Jesus during His transfiguration, when His followers were able to see for themselves His glory.

Holy, holy, holy.

Elijah came through that broken place, that place of doubt and suffering and entered the second half of his ministry, that of declaring new things for Israel and his discipleship of Elisha, before he was swept up into the presence of God.

Holy, holy, holy.

Your way, O God, is holy; who is as great as our God?