Wednesday, June 3, 2009

God Within

I woke up and had breakfast with my mother and youngest daughter. It is a marvelous and wonderful thing to watch three generations together. It is also a bit humbling and frightening. Although we are so different generationally, and despite the fact we have had such different experiences, hunched over cereal bowls, watching each of us dissect a banana, listening to the laughter – all of that- we are so very much alike. We are embedded in one another, despite the fact that we are such individuals with such strong personalities. I like to tell people that we Cherokees are matriarchal and matrilineal, so I come from a long line of bossy, warrior women. We are fiercely loyal and fiercely protective of our families.

“ ‘The kingdom of God is within you.’” Luke 17:21

The religious leaders of Jesus’ day were arguing about the right way to know God – that had lots of rules they believed assured God’s love and affirmation. We too, have religious leaders in our day, even within our denomination, and on both sides of the theological spectrum, that know the rules that ensures God’s in a person or group. Jesus must have shaken his head. They don’t get it and we often don’t either. The reign of God is within us and in our midst. If there is love and compassion, God is there. If there is violence and oppression God is there weeping for us. And if there is anyone willing to delight and affirm another human being, God delights and affirms along with them. God’s reign is the continuation of love and life, not our judgment of other’s failures and ways of living. God is in the midst of us, within us around us, not within a set of codes or rules. God is in the lovely complexity of relationships, the silent tenderness among generations.

Today, I want to live giving thanks for the family and life I have been called to, and live as the creature the Creator fashioned. One of many generations of fierce, bossy, warrior women, who delight in their families and have compassion and care for neighbors and strangers alike. I want to walk today as a carrier of the reign of God, within and beyond me in the relationships and people before me today.

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