Holding the Tension
Dear Kaleid Ladies,
Good morning! What a beautiful week we are enjoying! Thanks be to God!
As we live through Covid-19 and approach a divisive election, we are taking the opportunity to ground ourselves each week in the midst of uncertainty by engaging God’s loving presence via the contemplative, by seeking God’s wisdom about our thinking, and by living into God’s love in an embodied way in the world we inhabit.
As you move into this week’s opportunities, we invite you to think about what it looks like to resist the “easy” binary solutions and to hold tension as you follow Jesus, step by step.
Contemplative Practice: Being with God
Once, medieval Church mother Julian of Norwich recorded a beautiful vision of the fragile, tender, durable, resilient reality of creation. She says,
“And He showed me more, a little thing, the size of a hazelnut, on the palm of my hand, round like a ball. I looked at it thoughtfully and wondered, ‘What is this?’ And the answer came, ‘It is all that is made.’ I marveled that it continued to exist and did not suddenly disintegrate; it was so small. And again my mind supplied the answer, ‘It exists, both now and forever, because God loves it.’ In short, everything owes its existence to the love of God.”
Breath. Water. Pets. Air. Light. Color. A Kiss. Wind. A Table. Shadow. Music. Friendship. Flame. Rest.
Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Gentleness. Faithfulness. Self-Control.
God’s created world is the theatre in which God’s love is put on display. Today, in your contemplative practice, open both of your hands. First, invite God to remind you of the physical gifts that are in this day, and picture those gifts filling one of your open hands. In the other hand, invite God to remind you of the gifts of the Spirit that are in this day for you, and picture those gifts filling the other hand.
Hold these gifts, physical and spiritual, in your two open hands as you offer a prayer of gratitude for them, recognizing the God-given beauty of their interplay.
Learning Moment: Thinking about Our Thinking
This sermon from Matthew Browne at Trinity Eastside Parish helps us to think about our political engagement as Christians. The basis for the sermon is Matthew 22:15-22, where Jesus answers questions about paying taxes to Caesar. In Jesus’ conversation, we are invited to walk mindfully and wisely into the tension of living as those with dual citizenship in the kingdom of God and in the country where we reside.
Embodiment Encouragement: Physically Responding to God’s Loving Presence
Following Jesus is not about outcomes. It is about faithfulness. Faithfulness is also two things at once.
Faithfulness is ordinary, limited, constrained by our relationships, by time, by our gifts and resources. Any act of faithfulness is merely one small step in the long and often heavy journey of life. It is the way of a hidden disciple.
Faithfulness is also extraordinary, transformational, resounding through generations, communities, and even systems. Any act of faithfulness is one defiant step in the grand story of God’s kingdom that overcomes by way of grace and truth. It is the way of King Jesus.
Your embodied life, your small actions of faithfulness turned outward toward the world, is a beautiful container of the transformational tension between ordinary and Divine Love.
Go in peace,
The Kaleid Team