Some days just get away from me, almost before they start. Today was one of those days. It was filled with wonderful, holy, grace-filled moments. And almost none of those moments happened according to the plan I had intended. And so I’m only just now sitting down to write the reflection that was scheduled to be written first thing this morning. And at least for me, that’s the way life works. I plan, and then I adjust to reality, creating a new plan that fits whatever new information comes along.
It can be tempting to be frustrated by the interruptions, forgetting that God permeates in and through everything. I am always manifesting the presence of God—hopefully well!—and every person I come across manifests God to me. Nothing is wasted, although I can certainly be blind to this awareness, which is something quite regrettable. And that is the primary reason I practice meditation. My teacher, James Finley, puts it this way:
To practice meditation as an act of faith is to open ourselves to the endlessly reassuring realization that our very being and the very being of everyone and everything around us is the generosity of God. God is creating us in the present moment, loving us into being, such that our very presence is the manifested presence of God. We meditate that we might awaken to this unitive mystery, not just in meditation, but in every moment of our lives.
This awakening within is like a new birth. During our Lenten series last night, parishioner Rene Schreiner led us in reflecting on the story of Nicodemus, the Pharisee who comes to Jesus, first by night. During their exchange, Jesus says, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” The Greek word for “born from above” can also be translated “born again” or “born anew.” It seems that we can go through our lives without seeing all that is right here in our midst. I can certainly relate.
Toward the end of the evening, Rene went on to share that “dare alla luce” means “to give birth” in Italian, but that literally it translates “to give birth to the light.” I love that. I know that when I am awake to the kingdom of God in my every day life, and can cherish each encounter as a manifestation of God, light is birthed within me and within the other. And I yearn to live in the light that makes all the difference, although I know just how easy it is to miss the beauty and precious reality of each interaction, each person.
How are you giving birth to the light? Do you recognize the difference in your own life? How might you use this Lent to grow in this awareness that Jesus invites us to unleash within? I encourage you to join us for the Wednesday evening Lenten series and/or Sunday’s 30 Meaningful Minutes or Going Deeper sessions.
I wonder what would happen if every human being gave birth to the light in their own unique way?
Hope to see you Sunday,