— Midweek Meditations:
thoughts, inspiration and encouragement
from ACF community members —
Did you know that we live in a holy world?
Holy not because it is perfect, holy not because it is always good or friendly, but holy because everything within it was created and redeemed by a holy God.
This holiness is hard to see in times of Corona raging through the world claiming thousands of lives.
Holiness is hard to feel when necessary social distancing kills hugs, kisses and the warmth of a group of close friends, masks hide the encouraging smile and partial lock down robs us of the opportunity for a nice chat at a café or a meal in my favorite restaurant.
This holiness is hard to see in a political election of a divided country where hate twitters replace listening to each other, where focusing on the evil renders the other person already wrong because he or she has a blue or red label.
This holiness is hard to see in a world where the wish to sustain creation is out of balance with the striving for more financial gain.
This holiness is hard to experience when life is a struggle, darkness is the prevailing daily state (not only because of the beginning of the winter season), sickness grinds the vulnerability into our bodies and minds and worries are stronger than hope.
This holiness is hard to see whenever I look down on anyone else, because he or she is not as smart, as good looking, too fat, too skinny, the wrong color of skin, the wrong faith, no real job, not the right circle of friends.
The holiness of this world is hard to see when the shadow of my Ego is too big for the light to fall onto what is in front of me. So where is holiness at all?
Bishop Trevor triggered these thoughts in me while reading his parable on Corona virus.
I realized I need to clean my glasses to be able to see behind the scene, to see the beauty of God’s colorful creation, to retune my ears to hear the soft whisper of a friend or the chirping of birds, to focus on the touch of the creator of this world, who not only created this world but loved it so much that he gave His one and only son, that we may live and live not in darkness but light, live not deprived but to the fullest and come into his holiness. Unfortunately, we have lost the sheltered safe paradise by eating of the tree of knowledge. We learned to know that we will die but have not always been equipped with the ability to handle this knowledge. We think we know how to run this world but fail due to our only limited partial knowledge. We have become a proud race because of our great knowledge and capacity to create but lost our knowledge of God’s holiness within and around us. Being created in God’s image including His capacity to know and create has turned into a snare of pride. We need to experience again how awesome our holy God and His works are so that our world and each single person in it regains its wonder.
Yes, there are clouds in the sky but the light comes through and reveals the beautiful colors of this autumn. When the trees and vineyards change their color into bright red, orange and yellow. How majestic is your work, oh God! Lord, let us see its holiness because it is Your creation. Lord, I thank you for these moments when you touch my heart by looking at your creation: the powerful mountains, refreshing springs, the vastness of the oceans, the roaring of the sea, the wind in my hair, the smell of woods, oh how wonderful is your creation. Help us to become care-ful and joy-ful stewards of your holy creation.
There is hardly anything as beautiful and powerful as the experience of love and there is hardly anything as deeply wounding as the depravity of being loved. Thank you, Lord, for my family, for my friends. Let me see your holiness shine through the lives of my loved ones that I may honestly love them every morning, day and evening. Let the power of your love sustain my love. Forgive me when I fail to respond in love. Lord, I pray especially for all who struggle experiencing this love, because they don’t have family or friends or are estranged to them, let your spirit enter, overcome the estrangement and allow me to see you in the other again. Lord change my views so that friendship can grow, Lord help the other to see your holiness also in me to overcome the barriers between us setting fresh grounds for new conversation where silence or screaming had burnt the ground.
We are called to see God even in strangers, even enemies. Lord, help me to see you living in the people I meet today. Let me not be indifferent to the many people struggling in this world, the refugees, the starving, the underprivileged, the lonely, the sick, help me to bring your light into their world because you meant it to be one holy world.
Sometimes it is the hardest to see the holiness in myself. Struggling with expectations, judgement, my failure to think, talk act in any way close to holy. Having struggled and felt the more I struggle the more I fail, I noticed I will not achieve holiness myself.
Holiness is grace, God coming into me, calling me His and therefore holy, allowing me to experience the comfort of His palm. Only when I open my heart and mind to allow Him to enter will I be able to put on the glasses to see His glory and holiness not only around but also in me. These glasses need cleaning daily by prayer and spending time in His presence. These views through clean glasses are the source of my strength in this broken and hurting world. These views are meant to be the fountain of our love for others even when it hurts, of our care for the environment even when it costs, of our dedication to God even when we feel that something else would be more fun right now.
These glimpses of God’s presence can fill us with deep thankfulness of a childlike awe for who He is and what He has done for us.
Holy Spirit, come and fill my view of the world today and every day to come! Amen.