Archive for August, 2012

God Is Present

August 31, 2012

 . .Therefore stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour. .” Matt. 25:1-13

A 19 year old young man grieved last night over his cancer, the debt his family is in, and his fears of his future; an elderly gentleman grieved over his own shortness of life, and I feel the shortness of mind and all I can offer is simply that God is present,and loving, and the following words for the journey:

“‘Lo, I am with you always,” means when you look for God, God is in the look of your eyes, in the thought of looking, nearer to you than your self, or things that have happened to you. There’s no need to go outside. Be melting snow. Wash yourself of yourself. – Rumi –

(The desire for God is itself anevidence of Grace at work, and in the looking for God, they eyes of themind and heart are transformedto see with God’s own seeing. Let yourself sink into the marvel of this process.) 

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Premium Rush

August 30, 2012

Premium Rush is a movie about a young man who graduated from law school, but chose to be a bike messenger.  His friends could not understand why. His reply was simply that “living a life of conformity was killing.”  I identified with this young man. People often asked me why I have chosen the life I have chosen. A life of financial uncertainty, criticism, and danger at times. Why I push the limits, and the boundaries of society.  And my answer is simply I want to be alive, to live life to its fullness, to have the premium rush out of life.

As I read the Gospels that is the call of the Gospel: Jesus told us to “to live life, and to live it abundantly,” and he lived his life in abundance with out worry about the material possessions we find so meaningful.

The past eighteen years of ministry has been my own journey of living life in its fullness, and letting go of those things that have meaning in our culture: material possessions, prestige, and living in the expectations of what others feel we should live, and in letting go of these I have sought to center my life on the living reality of the Risen Christ who has given me life abundant.  He has lead me into living the premium rush of life.

I have struggled letting go of material possessions, of trusting in Jesus for what I need, and I still struggle, but the more I let go, the more I live abundantly,knowing I will have what I basically will need;  I have struggle with letting go of seeking prestige and recognition–of simply being myself, of finding my recognition in the eyes of God, and knowing that is all I need. I have let go of the expectations of how I am expected to serve–the artificial boundaries we put around ourselves to protect us out of our own fear.  By letting go of that fear I have been able to enter into the lives of people of all races, all economic levels, and of all diversities and love them, serve them, and find God in them.

By living the premium rush I have found freedom, and have found the Risen Christ in that freedom.  There are no guarantees in this life, no promises–accept one–that the Risen One will walk with us, and that is enought. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Sing to the Lord A New Song

August 27, 2012

“Sing to the Lord A New Song. . .”Psalm 96

I see people who are hurting each day–one man sits in a wheel chair outside my door day and night–he sleeps in it, lives in it; one kid last night had a deep cut in his arm; and it is endless; then the recent attempt on my life–to deal with the pain one sees and experience, I have found all I can do is trust in Jesus, and “Sing a new song to the Lord,”. It is in the pain and suffering–and the aloneness–that I feel closest to God–I am never alone. That is why I no longer run away–but embrace what is at hand. “Sing a new song to the Lord. .”

Acceptance

August 26, 2012

“This saying is hard, who can accept it.” John 6:60

People had trouble accepting the the words and actions of Jesus.  People have trouble accepting my words and actions: “Why does anyone give of his time and effort, what is his motive?”  “Why does he hang out in the park and on the streets, after all real pastors work in buildings?”  “Why is he so generous and giving?”  For me it is my answer to my call, which has slowly evolved after much struggle over time–yea why put up with a kid who yells and lies to me? Why keep doing what I do when it puts my life in danger? For me it is simple: I am following the the voice, the voice of God that has lead me these years. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Only Jesus

August 24, 2012

Jn. 1:45-51 bARTHOLOMEW

I am having minor surgery, next week,  on my left shoulder where i was stabbed a couple of weeks ago;  no big deal, but the event haunts me, i have night mares, i wake up with night sweats. i am reminded of our fragile life is, my life. it is strange, my friends can’t talk about it, they just freeze if i mention it–death is to close, and i realize like Bartholomew the one friend I have does listen and understand–Jesus–so i wrestle through this and like i have in the past will move through it. One of my guys is losing his housing–never seems to understand we have rules–very simple rules–sad, very sad. Deo Gratias!Thanks be to God!

Being the Eucharist

August 23, 2012

Mt. 22:1-14

Jesus compared the Kingdom of heaven to a wedding feast, and in the Eucharist everything we believe about God and Jesus and our life’s destiny is expressed in the form of a shared meal.  It is common knowledge that a meal prepared by someone who loves you is different from a meal prepared without love. Last night I prepared some sandwiches for two beaten down, homeless kids, and one of them kept profusely thanking me for being so decent to him; when I was in Sacramento I ran into a homeless kid and bought him a meal and birthday present and he was profoundly thankful.  It is how we approach people, and respect them that the Eucharist becomes a living reality–I simply gave them the little of what I had with love. I see people suffering on the streets each day, and in Sacramento the encampments on the river, people out of sight and out mind–rather then sharing we push them aside-again the Eucharist is real in the sharing of our love with others. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Viral Jesus

August 23, 2012

Matt. 20:1-6

Viral Jesus: Recovering the Contagious Power of the Gospel by Ross Rohde. This book calls us to return to the explosive, viral movement of the early Christian church–the movement that was spread by knowing Jesus of Nazareth as a person.  It speaks to evangelism by each individuals, and shatters the concept of our large church buildings that simply drain our money from ministry. For me this book speaks to what is needed for ministry to take place: each individual experiencing the presence of the Risen Christ in their lives and sharing that presence.  It speaks to me of the need to move beyond our buildings into the street. Our institutional church is dying because it has become a lifeless institution, rather then on a living relationship with Jesus of Nazareth. Rather then have “strategic planning sessions”, we should have prayer sessions talking to Jesus, letting him lead us. Calling us to take a chance and share the Good News.   This book calls us to see Jesus as one who loves us, and calls us to share his Good News in the highways, by ways of life. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Perfection

August 21, 2012

“It is impossible for human beings,but all things are possible for God.” Mt. 19:30

Yesterday on my supposedly day off, I had two phone calls and three guys from the Haight coming to me for food; one person out of a job came last night for counseling. Twenty years ago to say this would be my life would have been impossible, I was basically kicked out of my denomination, broken, beaten down, I came here with nothing, and yet I am a priest doing ministry. I have been beaten, stabbed,shot at, ridiculed, made fun of–and yet I still do ministry–I know this is not me, but God in his own manner using me, and no matter how difficult it seems, I am thankful, for I am content and fulfilled. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Be Perfect

August 20, 2012

Matt. 19:16-22 The rich young man, at the beginning of life sought “perfection”. I know of people who spend their lives searching, but never really find God, because their money gets in the way–and they miss that “pearl of great price” right in front of them. Last night I gave some food to a young homeless family in a van–they had no money, no house, yet they had everything, and I have no money, but I have everything–for you see the “perfection” is right in front of us–God is in front of us–we simply have to give up our hold on everything to grasp God. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

The Bread of Life

August 19, 2012

Jn. 6:51-58 “The Bread of Life”

I have benn wounded by people–both physcially and emotionally–these past few weeks, lashing out in their pain, I know what it is like to be Christ crucified;  The Scripture–in all its craziness–speaks to me of that woundedness, and leads me to the Franciscan/Catholic Worker way of life. I met 21 year old Frosty this weekend in Sacramento, livng in  a make shift tent on the Sacramento River, he uses speed, does not trust anyone, or money, and has been in the hospital for abscesses. I sat with him in his home, and celebrated his birthday and realized in the breaking of the bread we experienced Eucharist. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!