Day 2—Second Week #1 Exercises
I apologize for not keeping up this blog like I normally do. I’ve been deep in my Spiritual Direction class and part of our “homework” is to keep a spiritual journal. At first, I was just going to post my journal entries but then I realized that there would need to be a lot of back story for you, the reader, to know what the heck I’m talking about! So I canned that idea.
But this last week we actually tackled something I want to share. It was about God’s Dream. These were our prayer texts: Isaiah 65.17-25; Ezekiel 26.22-38; Hebrews 2.5-13; Hebrews 8.6-13; Revelation 21.1-7.
I’ve adopted God’s dream as my own dream a number of years ago. I’d add a few other passages to the above, though: Isaiah 2.1-4; 55.1-13; 66.22-23; Ezekiel 47.1-12; Revelation 22.1-5. And many more besides. Take some time to read both of these sets of passages and then come back here. Go on. I’ll wait.
In Proverbs, it says, “When there’s no vision, the people get out of control” (29.18). As followers of Jesus, we must reclaim God’s dream! This is where creation is heading, not with God destroying this world and starting over. The vision presented in the New Testament (especially from Peter and John) is that God’s not destroying everything and starting over creating all new things but God’s taking all the current things and “making [them] new” (Revelation 21.5). In other words, God’s dream is to renew creation! The kingdom stories of Jesus bear this out.
Think of the story about the yeast in the dough (Matthew 13.33). The yeast is added in the middle of the process of making bread; not at the end! The first batch isn’t discarded and a new batch is made. No. The yeast (representing God’s Realm—the New Jerusalem, the Kingdom of God) is added to the existing dough (creation) and the yeast keeps spreading until the whole dough has been transformed.
That’s the meaning behind Jesus’ resurrection, too. God didn’t discard his physical body and create a new one but transformed it into a transphysical body; a physical body that was more than physical. In that one event, we see God’s dream—the entire story of New Creation—unfold; a pattern for the rest of creation.
Jesus said in the same way that God sent him into the world, he sent his people into the world (John 20.21). And Jesus’ vocation was to usher in God’s Realm (Mark 1.15); to add the yeast to the dough, if you will. Our job is to continue that work; to knead the dough, if you will, and see to it that the yeast continues to spread. That’s why Paul encouraged the followers of Jesus at Corinth to “stand firm, unshakable, excelling in the work of the Lord as always, because you know that your labor isn’t going to be for nothing in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15.58).
Again, as followers of Jesus, we must recapture God’s dream. We’re God’s co-workers (1 Corinthians 3.9; cf. Mark 16.20; Acts 14.27; 15.4; 2 Corinthians 6.1) and our vocation is to help bring about this transformation in our world. Not some day in the remote future but now. Jesus said, “Now is the time” for God’s Realm to come (Mark 1.15). When should we transform our weapons into farming tools? Now.
When should we stop making wars? Now.
When should we stop violence of every kind? Now.
When should we forgive each other? Now.
When should we seek reconciliation between each other and nations? Now.
When should we forgive the debts of the world? Now.
When should we end poverty? Now.
When should we see each other as sisters and brothers? Now.
When should we “turn to the other cheek; go the extra mile”? Now.
When should we “work to live in peace with everyone”? Now.
When should “do justice”? Now.
When should we “love kindness”? Now.
When should we “walk humbly before God”? Now.
Now is the time for us to enact the dream of God.
In the Love of the Three in One,
Br. Jack+, LC