May 4, 2020
Approx. read time: 3:50 min., plus reflection questions
I’m at home right now. I’ve been mostly at home throughout this pandemic. Perhaps you have been, too.
What I mean when I say that I have been mostly at home is this: Home for me is the House of Belonging, also known as Holy Trinity. It’s a portable home. And I try to be there always.
This home, which is for you and for me, is famous for its invitations, which are always invitations to something new which is good, and which blesses others. Invitations to holiness.
To be filled with God, AND to act on it!
With this pandemic, we are smack-dab in the middle of an invitation, you and I. A real whopper of an invitation.
And the invitation is this: to envision, commit to, and start building the reign of God, which Jesus spoke of, and pressed for, tirelessly. A world of justice and beauty. A world where the flourishing of life—every life and all of life—is the only real and sustainable “normal.”
The reign of God is a world that works for everyone, and for the whole of Creation.
Impossible? If it were, Jesus would not have proposed it.
So, there’s no squirming or excusing ourselves out of this invitation.
What does this reign of God look like?
I have a friend who defends a space for the wonder of God in Creation by losing himself in it regularly. (Once or twice, literally!)
I have a friend who travels to Florida to witness the treatment of children in prisonlike detention centers, separated from parents and family, and then writes and speaks about what she has seen.
I have a friend who offers to audiences treasures of insight from deep inner reserves, in order to heal and strengthen the world for the good.
I have a friend who shepherds and encourages bereft unsheltered people with the heart of a pastor.
I have a friend who mentors and challenges colleagues to dig deeper into their talents and capabilities to bring forth worthy and tangible good for those whose lives they touch.
I have a friend who embraced a clean and sober life and launched a business which employs people, pays just wages, offers top-quality product, and contributes to the good of society.
I have a friend who has quietly chosen to not take a salary, in order to keep his company’s workers employed.
I have a friend who pivoted from homemaker to community organizer and social outreach coordinator for people at the margins of the community.
I have a friend who works at the community garden so that hungry families can get fresh produce, and hearty soups and salads, through most of the year.
Whether my friends—and yours—know it or not, they all live, here and now, in the House of Belonging, deep inside God’s vision of a world that works for everyone.
They don’t think twice. It’s in their wiring. It’s the human spirit living as it lives best—selflessly, generously, with with a passion for justice and for love.
They are “filled with God and acting on it,” whether they can name it as such or not.
These are the holy ones. They have received invitations, usually in times of hardship—whether their own or others’. They envision the good, they commit to it, and then they start building the reign of God—whether they would ever name their actions this way or not.
I will warn you, though: These invitations never arrive with an instruction manual, a timeline, roadmap or blueprints, or step-by-step videos.
The invitation is simply the stirring of imagination or heart, a hunch, an inner itch, something a friend or stranger says that becomes the spark you didn’t realize you were waiting for.
It helps, I notice, to power down, to slow down, in order to recognize the invitation for what it is—a door opening, a green growing edge, the thing you had not thought of but which arrives perfectly timed and perfectly right.
“Be opened!” Jesus says to the one who is deaf and mute. Which could be any one of us in our distracted lives.
Be open to receiving the invitations that arrive today. In the wake of these first waves of pandemic, we have serious work to do—you and I, and all of us together.
- If holiness means “being filled with God and acting on it,” where does holiness reveal itself in my life?
- Among the people I know, who is giving flesh and material shape to God’s vision of how life must be? Does their selfless generosity call forth my own?
- What invitation stirs in me, as I consider where I am in the times we are in? How am I feeling invited to reveal the reign of God in new or larger ways?