Archive for March, 2019

Legacy

March 28, 2019

LEGACY

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.. .John 17:12”

On a hot humid night last August,  I was playing “Playing Thirty Foot”  Tiger” with some friends in Marin. It was so dark, and all around the stars were  blazing, and one could see thousands of fire fly’s drifting around, all the way to heaven. It was a surreal night. 

Every year on my birthday I receive an email from an old friend, who asks me, “What is your legacy?” She tells me you need to do something to be remembered by  and not forgotten. I am laughing now, at my on stupidity in thinking of a material legacy, because I have a great legacy, one that is intangible, and spiritual.

As I have thought about my “legacy” those fire fly’s , and those stars tell me that my legacy is not in being remembered, but in the gift I leave, that continues to transform the lives of people. The fire fly’s, the stars, that will continue long after I am gone, passed on through the lives of my friends, that I have loved.

On my birthday as I was surrounded by my  teen friends playing games, teasing me, going on a hike, and a drive, they were silly, laughing, full of fun, and they loved me,  I saw my living legacy, in the 225 snap chats, and 100 emails I received from youth and young adults whose lives have encountered mine through the years, I see my legacy, in the photos of the two thousand plus young men and women, whom I have buried, and many of whom died holding my hand, that is my legacy. In the lives of people who read my posts, and my writings, that is my legacy. And my relationship with Jesus of Nazareth who has shown me so much love and grace, which I hope in loving I share, that is my legacy.

When I am told I am co-dependent, take chances that put me in danger professionally and physically,  throw my money away, all of which shows immaturity, I remember that my immaturity, may be a maturity in the eyes of Someone else, and I look to the day when I will truly know. For now I live the questions.

There have been two attempts on my life this last year, and at one time I feared dying alone, but now I know I will never die alone, for the thousands of faces of those I have been friends with will be a part of that Great Cloud of Witnesses, surrounding me, calling me home, and in them I see Jesus of Nazareth. I will never die alone.

So on this birthday, I see my legacy, clearly for really the first time, and it is enough,for in the fire fly’s and the stars of the people I have touch, attempting to be a Christ-bearer, I see the Christ, and that is more than enough!  Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

415-305-2124

Hanging Out!

March 25, 2019

Hanging Out

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than that someone lay down his life for his friends. . .”

I have just purchased a new Bible, and a new translation, The English Standard Version, as I do on every five year anniversary, which I will  use and read during the next five years. I picked this translation because it is the translation that my professors at Knox Seminary use, and I buy in in their honor. I will asked my friends and donors to sign, to commemorate their support.

I have read the Bible since I was twelve years old, and from my freshman year of seminary until present, I read through it every year.  I read it daily, I turn to it, when I am in pain, and in joy, for through it God speaks of love, and compassion and holds the hope. The Bible has sustained me, strengthen me through the  deaths of my parents, and all of my street youth, it has sustained me in the times of being totally rejected and alone, and it has given me strength in times of illness and fear, and the Scriptures give me courage in the face of criticism, opposition , threats of and ultimately my death.

On the eve of my birthday, I see the end far closer than when I started, it is just around the corner, and I asked myself the question: “Have I failed?” And as I hear the voices around me and let them worry me, I laugh, because the answer to that question comes only from me and ultimately from God.

For I do not view ministry as most of the world views ministry, and there are those who have gone before me, and are still doing ministry in similar ways but they can  attest to that same view point.

In my final year of seminary my supervising therapist, Patricia,  who was supervising my counseling and my psychological testing one day gave me the greatest look of compassion, as she told me she was recommending  me for graduation and ordination, and said: “River, you have a special gift, that only a few have in a generation, with youth, especially, and with those who hurt severely, you are able to let them into your heart, and life, let them become your friend, and in that friendship they will find healing.”

 

Patricia continued,  “Ultimately you will find your self very alone, for there will be things you can not share with anyone”. I have learned the hard way there are things I can not share about my daily life, the things that I see, the words that I hear, because people can not and do not want to hear them. There are now the thousands of secrets, of pain, of violence, of hatred, of deceit, that I can never reveal even on the threat of death.   I feel the pain sometimes in myself. I am not lonely, but am alone.

I feel alone hanging with people with money, education, and who  can not understand the streets. I feel alone when I can not express my political or other opinions, because they will walk away.   I find myself alone when I seek to explain my understanding of the PTSD that I have as simply a part of the journey, and a part that brings much good, even as painful as it is. There are something you can not fix, but they heal as beautiful scars on a piece of broken wood.

She gave me the water color on this blog–“the Counselor”, who is torn a part, like the “The Velveteen Babbitt.” She said, “Welcome to your life! And a it is a life I would not change for anything, for I learn from every failing, mistake, and condemnation and see so clearly that we are to love one another and all of our creation. We are to take risks for one another.

I am often asked, “When do you work?” I hang out, I don’t work. I “chauffeured” one my seventeen year old friend’s and his girlfriend, on their one month anniversary to a movie, Saturday night, I had picked up another seventeen year old in the City and took him home; Another I am tutoring him and simply hanging out; One eighteen year old stayed all night three weeks ago with a high fever and I nursed him, and I caught the fever; tomorrow five of my young friends who are not housed and live in  the Haight are taking me out to lunch, and they are paying, tomorrow night my sixteen-nineteen year old friends in Marin are having a pizza party for me. Is that work? All of life is ministry.  People struggle with the fact that I do not have set vacations, but I take time off alone a lot, nothing set, just when I need to. You see I do not have a job, I simply do not work–I hang out.

This morning my shoulder hurts like hell, my rib from where it was busted last year is in pain, the old stab wound hurts, ,my skate board injuries hurt, but I arise again to   set my sail, looking to the Guiding Star that will lead me home, and hopefully I will hear the words: “Well done, my good and faithful servant,” reminding me that  at least I tried to be a good friend! Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God”

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than that someone lay down his life for his friends. . .”

Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

415-305-2124

Of Fire and Figs

March 23, 2019

River On Fire

Of Fire and Figs

Luke 13:1-9 English Standard Version (ESV)

Repent or Perish

13 There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree

And he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. And he said to the vinedresser, ‘Look, for three years now I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down. Why should it use up the ground?’ And he answered him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and put on manure. Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’”

The past several years we have learned the strength of fire. When we pass through Santa Rosa we see the damage from the  fires; my four days in Paradise as a chaplain with fire all around I saw the power and the destruction of fire.
In our Scripture today death is on the mind of people bringing people gossip about the Galileans killed by Pilate’s destroying hand. They want to believe such “justified” devastation will not touch them. The Galileans must have been great sinners to meet that fate. Jesus refuses to agree that those who die by murder or accident   are “more guilty than any one else who lived in Jerusalem.”  We are all judged by our actions, we are all judged by the love we give our neighbors.
Then Jesus tells the story of the orchard owner whose fig tree is barren. For three years the the fig has borne no fruit. The owner tells his Gardner to cut  the barren tree down. But the Gardner sees what the owner can not see–new life. He sees the promise of cultivated ground and fertile soil and a dead tree flowering. In the Paradise area with coming  of the  spring rain death is becoming life.
Jim Woodrum writes: “God will help create in us new and contrite hearts if we will just hand over that which is superfluous and burdening to us, and open our hands to receive the sustenance we will need for the journey.”
Each of us can bring life out of the barrenness of homelessness , our fears of not having enough, our fears of our own destruction, all of those fears that result in our hatred, and bias towards others, our fears of not be able to accomplish anything. There is hope in the barrenness.  We can bring life through our faith in the Crucified One who calls us to new life, to new beginnings. I have learned that in my own life, at the time of each death, there comes resurrection; at the time of each forest fire, there comes the greenness of Spring. Scott Peck commented “When we learn that life is difficult, then we can enjoy life,” so facing our difficulties with new hope, with hope in the resurrection we find life. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!
Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.
P.O. Box 642656
San Francisco, CA 94164

A Blessing and A Curse

March 23, 2019

Jesus the Homeless

A Blessing and a Curse

Genesis 37:3-4, 12-13a, 17b-28a

St. Teresa of Avila was on a trip late in her life, traveling on a road being flooded, much like many places  in Northern California. As she tried to navigate the waters of an overflowing river, the current was so swift she lost her footing and fell into the water. Later she raise the question to  God in prayer why such obstacles are so frequently placed before God’s friends. God responds lovingly that she need not worry, for this is how God’s friends are treated. To which she responds, “Yes, and that is why you have so few of them.”

The fact is in both our reading it is not God’s actions that enslave Joseph or murders in the Vineyard, it is human beings. In neither is it God who visits calamity on God’s “friends”. We treat people inhumanly out of our own need for power and greed.

In these days of division, hatred, and violence, rather than blame God, let us  look at ourselves and in so doing we see every human being, and why we do what we do. We all seek power, control, and act out in ways that are violent–by word and deed, without knowing it at times. That is the human predicament. I acted out when I was ill last year, and the illness is no excuse, we all act out, some of us in small ways, others in large ways. And we seek God’s forgiveness, and try again. Fifteen year old Sean years ago said to me: ‘You must have done something really bad to help us the way you do.”  He was right, and I still do, and I I seek forgiveness, and try again. That is what the cross is about. We seek transformation, and we are slowly transformed.

Andy Otto in his article  “A Blessing and A Curse” presents the human situation, and how the cross fits into that predicament:

“I’ve always struggled with the mystery of the cross. It’s a bizarre part of our faith, and Lent is a chance to grapple with it. The mystery lies in the seeming needlessness of it. How can such a tortuous murder give way to our redemption? Richard Rohr says that struggle and incomprehensible mystery are the way to transformation. If you avoid such tensions, you learn nothing new and become stagnant in the spiritual life.

The way I see the cross—and much of the spiritual life—is as a blessing and a curse. The cross symbolized the curse of sin and brokenness, yet the action on the cross blessed humanity with healing, redemption, and divine love. The mystery of the cross may never be understood except in the context of the blessing-curse paradox. Interestingly, we find this paradox throughout life.

How many of us have been through an extremely trying event only to emerge stronger and better off on the other side? St. Paul speaks about his weakness making him strong. Stephen Curtis Chapman, in his song “Beautiful Scars,” sings about the painful “stories that make us who we are” and the wounds of Christ that helped heal and set us free. Much of life seems cursed with suffering and sacrifice, which upon struggle and reflection turn out to be blessings that build our identity and help us to face life in new ways.

Lent reveals those blessings through intentional sacrifice, giving, and prayer. I recommend journaling through the season of Lent, and come Eastertime, reviewing all that you had experienced and struggled with. Then make a note of the graces and blessings you received as a result. These are God’s Lenten gifts to you.”

Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

 

The Sin of Indifference

March 21, 2019

Father River

The Sin of Indifference

Luke 24-26

And he called out, “Father Abraham, have mercy on me and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame. But Abraham said: “Child remember that you in your life time received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between you and us a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.”

This morning my shoulder is hurting, the pain shoots down my arm, my ribs where they were cracked, are hurting; and I have been having night mares from my PTSD the last couple of nights.  And so  in the last couple of days when I am asked  “How do you feel?” I have fun telling people directly how I am feeling and what is going on with me; I love watching them shift their bodies, and their glaze, and saying something like, “Your doctor should be able to fix that.” To myself I am laughing out loud. This is the time that we live in, we have difficulty dealing with people and their pain no matter how simple it is  and in doing this  we commit the sin of indifference.

We become the rich man in the Gospel this morning when we are indifferent. We do not intentionally ignore people’s needs, we just get so busy, and we are so afraid to listen and hear the pain of others, and in doing so we   commit the sin of  indifference. A new study  describes how since 2004 people are getting more and more lonely because they have fewer voice conversations, they are experiencing the sin of indifference. Depression and suicide rates are up, many people have a lack of meaning –they experience  the sin of indifference.

It is not only the poor, the homeless that are suffering from isolation and loneliness, many are suffering in the world of the housed  due to the sin of indifference.

Last night a lady from Gautama who once  worked at St. Luke’s Church taking care of the coffee hour, stopped by. She handed me $20.00 and said, “Father go out to eat, and I am going to clean your room for your birthday present.” It was spotless when I returned, and her act, her simple act made my day. I will get hundreds of face book birthday greetings, but this one act, will be remembered for as long as I live. She is a woman who has little and she gave so much to me. She showed her love by giving me her time. Her name is Luce.

Let us follow her example, show our  love for others by being present to them, by just listening, and in the simplest of ways we become Christ to others. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

415-305-2124

Unmistakable Similar

March 20, 2019

Unmistakably Simiar

Jeremiah 18:18-20

Matthew 20:17-28

The ministries of Jesus and Jeremiah  are remarkably similar accept they differ. Jeremiah initially speaks on the behalf of his adversaries, hoping to turn away “God’s wrath”, he goes on to pray for their deaths;

And Jesus? He came “not to condemn the world, but to save it. (John 3:17). In today’s Gospel he tells us, “not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” From the cross he spoke on behalf of his murderers, asking that they be forgiven, for they knew not what they were doing.

Monika Hellwig wrote: of Jesus, saying, “one who entered into immediate, shockingly unconventional relationships with people, not evading the human encounter by the choreography of the sociocultural role definitions.”

This is the call of Jesus, and this is the call for all of us. For nearly twenty five years I have sought to live out this call. I fail ninety-nine.9 percent of the time, but in the one tenth of percent I find much joy. Our sociocultural boundaries that we have built separate us, terrify many, and made us a people of loneliness, of division and isolation.

The boundary of Jesus is to “love our neighbor”, and in that love we do nothing to hurt them. In the past year I have often  turned away from loving my neighbor into myself, but as always when I come out of myself and enter into that: “shockingly unconventional relationships with people, not evading the human encounter by the choreography of the sociocultural role definitions,” I enter into “eternal life”. There is nothing but joy.

As it is with Jesus, so it is with us. If we take our discipleship seriously, the similarities are unmistakable.

Walking Station 5. “I am the Bread of Life.

“Always we are eating and drinking earth’s body,

Making her dishes.

Potters like sun and stars

perform their art

endowed with myth,

They make the meal holy. M.C. Richards).

We become bread for one another by standing near when someone is ill, both physically and emotionally, when someone is sleeping on the street with no housing, when someone is addicted to drugs, when someone is hungry and in good times offering friendship, partying, and food.

“How am I ‘Living bread for others? How am I not? How can I become living bread for and with others?”

“O Spirit, Teach me to become living bread and nourishing food for others. Teach me to seek out others who are living bread for myself and so we can together be living bread for others. Teach me how my work can offer living bread for others.”

Silent Meditation

See Who You Are. Become Who You See!

Fr. River Damien Sims, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

415-305-2124

Snap chat: Riodamien 2

Unnatural Family

March 19, 2019

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God’s Unnatural Family

St. Joseph–Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary

2 Samuel 4-5a, 12, 14a, 16, Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22,  Matthew 1:16-18:21

“This morning I meditated on God’s eagerness to forgive me, revealed in these words: “As far as the East is from the West, so far does God remove my sin” (Psalms 103:12). In the midst of all my distractions, I was touched by God’s desire to forgive me again and again. If I return to God with a repentant heart after I have sinned, God is always there to embrace me and let me start afresh. “The Lord is full of compassion and love, slow to anger and rich in mercy.”

It is hard for me to forgive someone who has really offended me, especially when it happens more than once. I begin to doubt the sincerity of the one who asks forgiveness for a second, third, or fourth time. But God does not keep count. God just waits for our return, without resentment or desire for revenge. God wants us home. “The love of the Lord is everlasting.””Henry Nouwen

 On this feast day we are reminded of family, and family is that group that stays with you through thick and thin.  I have a seventeen year old who calls me his family, he has a history of running away, using drugs, not sure what his sexuality is, and a diagnosis of depression. He calls me his family, snap chats me at all hours, calls me at all hours, and I listen–he is family;  I recently received a phone call from the hospital asking me to give permission for a procedure because I was listed as family for a nineteen year old; and so it goes for many others.

Professionals try to place me within  their labels of counselor, minister, and so on, and within the boundaries of not being available 24 hours a day; call me  co dependent, and so on; others criticize me for not “sharing the Gospel” with them, and so it goes. The truth is I am in that messy world of being family, and the Gospel is shared through that messiness. It is a world of being in the dirt of life.

My first year in San Francisco, a well known priest told someone who asked about me, “River lives in the messiness of life, to see who he is, you have to observe what his actions are , and how he lives his life. He is not afraid of getting his hands dirty, and taking chances.” He was right, I have lived in the messiness of life for many years without regret. When I have been assaulted, threatened, stabbed or shot at–=and take these guys  back I am told  their victim and it is not healthy for me to forgive, forget, and take them back-but I see them as family struggling, and not needing rejection.

If all of us would see each other as family, in all of it’s messiness and forgive over and over, take the pain, the hurt, that goes with being family–I wonder what life would be now, what our natural resources would be and what our streets would look like. We are so absorbed with our divisions, our self-centeredness that we are our own worst enemy. My time is coming to an end, and my prayer is that God will say to me, “Well done, my good and faithful servant,” and again we shall see and I have found that having that unnatural family has given me much joy, even in the pain, so much joy!  Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

Be Merciful!

March 18, 2019

week-of-prayer

 

“Be Merciful, Even As Your Father Is Merciful!”

Luke 6:36-38 English Standard Version (ESV)

3Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

Judging Others

37 “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; 38 give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

Last night on Madam Secretary, Henry McCord (Tim Daly) was asked to address a conservative religious group and he was asked, how he could, being the liberal that he is. His reply, “Religion can be a unifying force.”

Our Scripture today summarizes that unifying force that is found in all of the great religions. When we put all of our bull shit behind us, and stand under that unifying force, the world is transformed. God entered in Christ in our human lives (God entered in other faces as well), and suffered at the hands of humanity. Jesus holds the hope, even as we continue our mess destruction of ourselves, for “religion is a unifying force” in mercy.

Brother James Koester sums it up in these words:

We can choose to forgive as we are forgiven or we can choose to bear our grudges and nurse our hurts.  We can choose to offer and embrace and receive that peace or turn our backs. We can choose to rach out and touch God who in bread and wine is made near and real and present or we can choose to go hungry.”

————————————————————————–

WALKING STATION 4. Baptism.

“How have I undergone vision quests or similar breakthroughs that have revealed my deep calling and purpose for being on this earth at this special time? How do I develop my courage to fulfill my calling?  How have I been empowered with gifts I have cultivated in order to be true to my vocation and recognize it’s deeper meaning, even when its outer form may undergo change?”

“O Spirit. Grace me and others with the courage and generosity to respond fully to my calling and see my work and relationships in light of that vocation. Grant me flexibility and creativity also to adjust that calling as the times dictate and as the needs of my culture require.” Teach me to give my generosity of time, and finances to those who sleep on our streets. Amen. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Father River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

The Arduous But Not Impossible Journey

March 16, 2019

The Arduous But Not Impossible Journey

Luke 9:28-36; Matthew 5:43-48

The Transfiguration Story is every one’s story of our own journey into the nature we were created to explore and inhabit This is not an easy march or a quiet march, it is an arduous but not impossible journey, and it is a journey of everlasting questions. The Transfiguration is a journey into being a forgiving person, and there are always endless questions in relationships.

Moses in Deuteronomy asks us to become “a people sacred to the Lord,” and the way to do that is offered by Jesus when he offers the prescription: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.. Could anything be harder to do or offer more endless questions? Does it not take a transfiguration of our lives to love our enemies?

I come from a long line of generous, gregarious southerners. They are also an emotional and volatile people adept at holding grudges.  Grudges that last from one generation to another. My journey with the church and my journey in ministry has put me in a position where I struggle with forgiveness. The Church was abusive, people have sought to hurt me, and say horrible things about me, and  try to take advantage of me. One young guy told another one he introduced me to: “Don’t mistake his kindness for niceness.” I am not a nice person, I am tough as nails.

I have learned through the years to sit with my anger and satiate it  by looking at the cross, and visualizing the Christ in the persons I am angry at. That may go on for several days, but ultimately I see the goodness of Jesus in that person, and see his struggles, his reasons, and I have empathy for their  emotional struggle. I see the why  people try to hurt me, use me, and I can forgive them, for they are trying to find themselves, no matter how wrongly they do it. In that forgiveness one can move out, and embrace that person in love. It is not just about me, but both of us. The journey is always a dance. And the journey is always painful, always painful, but if you keep at it, you find resurrection and joy.

Secondly, I forget things really fast. In a few minutes, whatever happens  becomes nothing. In the end how important is this in the long term.  Ultimately I look back and laugh. All I see is the goodness of the relationship, and that is what matters.

Over a year ago a friend I love very much hit me and busted two of my ribs. I walked away, and than came back, and have stayed with him through his struggles. Several therapist’s have told me he violated me and I should walk away”until you do you are his victim,” I am no one’s victim, I stand on my on,  and I look at the cross of Jesus, and see he did not walk away, he stays the course. He carries his cross–and he is no one’s victim. I forget, I move on, I care.

Each night as I pray the Evening Office and pray the Lord’s Prayer, “Forgive us our debts  as as we forgive our debtors,” I name those I am angry at, praying they will forgive me, and remember Christ forgives me every day of my life and gives me a new start. I give people a new start, a new beginning. Forgiveness only comes when we forgive others.

Jesus gives us an arduous journey, but not impossible, and one with endless questions, and in following that journey our lives are transfigured into a life of love, of Jesus. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Fr. River Damien Sims, D.S.T., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

415-305-2124

 

Atonement and the New Perspective

March 13, 2019

ATONEMENT AND THE NEW PERSPECTIVE

The God of Israel, Covenant, and the Cross

Stephen Burn Hope

Hope through a scholarly work discusses the doctrine of Atonement, how it developed and why the Jews were alienated from the process. He then brings all of it together to show the  antisemitism that resulted, and presents a unifying argument for atonement between Christian and Jews.

It is an excellent, scholarly book, but  in my preview I found that this doctrine is often used to separate us from the reign of God on the earth, and separate us from other religious expressions.

The Jesus that I have experience through out my life is one who is inclusive of everyone. He is portrayed in the Gospel of John as the One who walks to his own death leading by example and in dying communicates the Spirit to his followers, who move through out the world in his name. He is the Cosmic Christ surrounding us, nourishing us and calling us to nourish our brothers and sisters. He is but one expression in the world of the many faces of God.

This is a good book, but limits the the Gospel in its expression and targets academics. In a world suffering from war, homelessness, and poverty, it provides no hope or guidance.

Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 941674

http://www.temenos.org