inner kingdom

Lift love higher

For God so loved the world extends further than our carnal minds can conceive.

Bishop Naomi Davis

As I watched anger seemingly sweep through the nation in protests, I heard one observer explain when quiet cries are not heard, the person turns to screaming in public. I thought, “Well said”. Let me start listening. I want to be tuned in to those who are suffering. This current moment sparked by the death of Mr. George Floyd, has both young and old hurting. The old because they have lived through these experiences growing up in segregation. The young because they envisioned their society having moved beyond the hatred. My response has been to listen and share in a moment of social complexity. We will gain our footing by stopping to listen. We will find the solutions through listening to one another’s experiences. One size will not fit all but if we are willing to study our history, be open to learning more about society and the political process, I believe will be able to identify the many variables needed to solve the equation. It starts by joining together with a common purpose; a more perfect union.

As a cleric, I look out at society and see faith plays a part in the healing process. I mean, if I were a politician I would assess my world through the eyes of politics. If I were a physician or scientist, through the perspectives of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) or WHO (The World Health Organization). So, from my perspective, I see how empty piety can contribute to a parishioners deafness. Many public Christian leaders have allowed politics to become part of the fabric of faith. For some loving thy neighbor is relegated to sitting next to a stranger in church on Sunday, feeling inclusive while remaining secluded in ones thoughts and mindset. Love thy neighbor is not about being a Christian although it should be a description of what one looks like. I want us to recognize that the awakened among us have lifted love to a place of sacredness. I write to keep myself grounded in the hope that sharing this truth can awaken this divine aspiration in others.

Have faith in love

This world needs to love. Human beings are looking for its byproducts like acceptance, kindness, peace, friendship, fellowship, and a peaceful coexistence. This is not a lofty intellectual concept. Love is organic. It is not a utopia. It does not mean bad things don’t happen to us. It just gives us more options to lift ourselves up higher, individually and collectively. Hate lowers us. When we hear the quiet cries of the broken, disenfranchised, or in this case the “I can’t breath” of Mr George Floyd, we see the contrast between love and a reckless disregard for it, right?

To lift love higher, to speak out on its behalf will take courage and faith. To live by giving and treating others the way that we want to be treated, will take resolve. But change begins with a thought. Here is good one: love will help change our society. When love takes root it grows, blooming into a beautiful flower like a society of loving & caring neighbors. Wow, in my humble opinion, lifting love higher is the only answer we need to hear.

The lesson

“But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.’ Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.””

Luke‬ ‭10:29-37‬ ‭NRSV‬‬

inner kingdom

Think on these things

“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.” Philippians‬ ‭4:8-9‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Let the peacemakers emerge

I just finished reading several articles in our local newspaper. As I closed the paper, I said to myself, “That was a depressing experience”. I am convinced that mankind wants to destroy herself; she is miserable and in pain. All the generations of pride and destruction have resulted in her having a hole or emptiness in the soul. What is happening? Do we not see that we are in this life, on this planet together? We must love to rise above.

Despite everything that I read about today; warring countries, feuding political parties, homelessness, I refuse to fall into despair. I am committed to being love and light. It starts with me embracing my divine identity. Yes it takes courage. I have some mercy following me since yesterday that will help a lot. Ps 23:6

Love God. Love self. Love neighbor.

I must rise to walk in the light. I challenge those around me, let’s do the hard work. In lieu of random acts of violence lets perform random acts of kindness. The cynics say, “why, it won’t help?”, I say, “let’s just try it!” Think about it. Take it under consideration. Just think what would happen if we filled our minds with love and peace. If we fought to share instead of hoard resources. There would be so much goodwill. We understand this, right?

Before your thoughts can change the world, they must change you.” TOMSWIFT46/FLICKR

The author of the book of Philippians shares with us in chapter 4, a tool to overcome a negative mindset, ‘change how we think’. We all can think well of one another, see the beauty in everyone, just talking about it makes me smile. Strength comes from the inside. We all have it! Smile with me! Love with me. Please.

“Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:36