Red: Week 2 - Daily Reflections October 13, 2015

This is the second week of daily reflections on the sermon series I am preaching entitled "Red: Understanding the Hard Sayings of Jesus."  This past week we talked about a challenging word that Jesus had from Mark chapter 3 for some people who were missing out on what the Holy Spirit of God was doing right in front of them... 

The great Christian poet, contemplative and mystic Thomas Merton once wrote: 
"The forms and individual characters of living and growing things, of inanimate beings, of animals and flowers and all nature, constitute their holiness in the sight of God.   
Their inscape is their sanctity.  It is the imprint of His wisdom and His reality in them.  The special clumsy beauty of this particular colt on this day in this field under these clouds is a holiness consecrated to God by His own creative wisdom... and it declares the glory of God."
Merton spent much of his life in a monastery in Kentucky, praying, writing, and seeking the presence of God in silent contemplation.  He found God's Creation to be a window through which he could glimpse not only the glory of God, but also the presence of the Holy Spirit.  

In the busy, breakneck speed with which most of us navigate the world, it seems impossible for us to find the inner strength and peace to slow down, and to truly see the holiness that is all around us.  The Spirit of God is imbedded in every aspect of Creation, but we seldom pause to breathe it all in, to let the beauty of this earth overwhelm us with feelings of gratitude, joy and solace.  

Like the Pharisees who Jesus chided in Mark chapter 3, we close our eyes to the light of God's creative, loving and abiding Spirit, and then we wonder why our days seem exhausting, our nights restless and our mornings a time of resignation and dread.  

One of the many things that I am struggling to overcome is my lack of presence in the world.  And by presence, I mean attention, focus, a state of being.  There are small moments when I breathe in the morning air, glance up at the twinkle of stars in the night sky, or admire the way the light lands just so on the lake by my house---but instead of staying in those moments, I often find myself moving on, driving away, finding the next thing that must be done.  

And all the while, the Spirit of God continues to bless, continues to create beauty in the world, continues to show that God is not done creating.  The evidence is right in front of me, every day, all of the time.  I just need to "be still and know" that it is God.  

Today, take a moment to experience God's Spirit in the world.  Take the time to breathe, to pray, to feel the slight cooling of the October air, to look up into the stars tonight, to stand still and feel the Spirit of God moving, speaking and creating all around you.  


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