April 27

Reflection

“Too often in its history the Church has been a community of people huddled behind locked doors … to find protection from the menace of heretics, or of Darwin, or of uppity women, or of gays, or of new, unfamiliar ideas, and failing to see that the Spirit was so often moving out there among them … moving as the wind at the dawn of creation over the face of the deep, and bringing about new creation.

But even now, the wild winds of the Spirit blow back into our closed, locked rooms and sometimes brush souls ready to hear and receive, and to walk outside, all to re-discover a life that Jesus lived and that he empowered his disciples to live … a life in the pursuit of justice and peace, of truth and compassion … a life in whole-hearted service to others … a life wild and precious and free.

And yes, dangerous too. But this must not stop us. We must not be afraid. There is much that is tragic in this world, but most tragic is to live in fear behind locked doors, and then at the end to discover that one had never lived at all.”
Preached at Emory Presbyterian Church

Prayer

May the doors of my mind and spirit  be opened.

Action

What doors do I lock and hide behind? How can I unlock them?

Suggested Reading

On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
John 20:19-21

The doors were locked. But the Spirit lives and cannot be kept out. This is what it is to embrace the mystery of Resurrection: it is to imagine it, and to practice it … to be drawn out by the Spirit from behind our locked doors of fear, and into radically open lives of compassion and service.
Emory Presbyterian Church

 
When it’s over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement.
I was a bridegroom, taking the world into my arms. 

When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened
or full of argument. 

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
Mary Oliver

Love opens the doors into everything, as far as I can see, including and perhaps most of all, the door into one’s own secret, and often terrible and frightening, real self.
May Sarton

There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance… Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.
John Lennon

We all get lost once in a while, sometimes by choice, sometimes due to forces beyond our control. When we learn what it is our soul needs to learn, the path presents itself. Sometimes we see the way out but wander further and deeper despite ourselves; the fear, the anger or the sadness preventing us returning. Sometimes we prefer to be lost and wandering, sometimes it’s easier. Sometimes we find our own way out. But regardless, always, we are found.
Cecelia Ahern

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
Steve Jobs

Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open.
John Barrymore

The doors of wisdom are never shut.
Benjamin Franklin

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