2021: The Insignificant With The Sacred Unique

 

I hate marathons. I hate waiting. Especially for something that I know is coming. It makes me feel not only unsettled, but as if something terrible is going to happen until that thing that’s supposed to come, comes. Until that thing that’s supposed to occur, happens. (That feeling is called dread. Or a constant panic attack. Anxiety.)
That feeling like something is missing.
That feeling of being…incomplete.

Well I’ve been mulling over this whole new year business–a second time around–and I’ve come to only one possible conclusion:

Okay but…for real.
2021? THIS New Year Needs More Sister Act.

Last year, I was facing personal unknown, and I wrote about redefining our understanding of resolution. I had ZERO idea what was coming for everyone, not just me, because not a few months after that, the novel Corona virus caused everyone to lock down, and everything to change. And I spent the year rolling with it. I was excited to get back to teaching, only for my classes to get cut due to low enrollment, which itself was due to all in-person courses being moved to online. So I was ready to come back with a new energy and a new outlook, and then I had to adjust to teaching daily from my study.
And here we are, a year later, and…not much has changed. And yet at the same time, it feels like everything has changed. Maybe because I’ve changed. We’ve changed.

And yet…change doesn’t feel enough, does it? Because slow (possibly lasting) change doesn’t feel as noticeable as a drastic change. And it’s been a year of slow change for most. I don’t like that I feel I’ve personally changed, and yet also feel like I don’t show it. I made a goal of taking better care of myself, and connecting with my physical self (challenging as an enneagram 5), and I’ve spent the past year doing so. I’ve been flossing every day for a year now. I’ve been working out and exercising consistently for a year. I’ve watched what I’ve been eating. Meditate regularly.
Maybe that’s why I love getting new tattoos. There’s something noticeable, from before to after. I always feel like I’m closer to my fuller, more complete self after every new tattoo.
Or really, it’s that sensation of getting a new tattoo is more of a temporary diversion from the reminder of my incompleteness.
As such while I love that release, what I hate though is the time between booking my appointment, and waiting until the time comes. Because I want it now. Because I hate waiting. I want the visible, noticeable change right when I set about getting it. And it’s during the in-between, I’m facing a reminder that I don’t have the thing I believed will make me feel more complete, and I have to wait to get the thing that’ll make me feel more complete. Thus, I’m stuck feeling incomplete.

And that feeling seems like the worst part of this past year. The slow change, whatever those changes may be. The constant reminder of our incompleteness. The year itself dragged on and on, until all we’re left with is the personal and collective mindset of the “before times.Before last year. Before what we’re STILL in. A desire to go back to the time where we weren’t reminded of just how incomplete we actually are.

Ever wonder what does ‘Auld Lang Syne’ mean? It’s customary to sing it at New Years, but what’s it mean besides a call to remember?
Well, the most accurate plain English interpretation of the Auld Lang Syne’s famous title is ‘old long since’, or ‘for the sake of old times’.
Remembering the before times. And then looking forward to what will become the NEW “old times.” As I talked about last year, we mark moments like a new year as a fresh start. But how do you “fresh start,” when you can’t? When you have to wait.

How do you have a new year, when it all feels like a continuation of the old?

How do you live when we’re still stuck in limbo?

It’s not like you can just take your WaitMate pills until Covid is over, or the year, or the election.
Or until that point you believe you’ll finally be complete.

It’s not like you can just fake it and turn the clocks forward.

Here’s the thing. I really wonder how many are still holding onto the Auld Lang Syne, the “Before Times,” out of a desire to return to them when this is all over. I’ve talked to a lot of people who are so ready for this all to be finished, to return to the way things were before. Who want to return to normalcy and decency. Who view this time (or however long) as a stopgap, a pause, on life; and once this is all over, we all can get on with life.

But we can’t. Things won’t be same, probably ever again. Because we’re not the same. I know I’m not. And I won’t be. YOU won’t be.

As a teacher and as a reverend, I’ve had a lot of people ask me what I’ve learned, and what lesson I can give about this past year. Some…morsel of wisdom, to make sense of it all. To make them feel better about their incompleteness, or to forget about it.
And the truth is…I’m not there. Because I’m still struggling with mine. I can’t give something worth while. Not for anyone but myself, anyway.
I honestly just end up either sending them the following Monty Python clip, or singing it to them:

Over the holiday, my son had an experience causing him to suddenly believe Santa is real. You see, my kids have been raised a bit free to explore their own beliefs and come to their own summations. I happily and readily tell them what I believe and why (on a level they at their age can understand), but for the most part, things like Santa, Krampus, etc, are all things conveyed to them that are fun to pretend are real. I’ve never pushed them into belief one way or the other. But sometime over the holiday break (and I have a feeling I know exactly when), my eldest went from believing Santa was just pretend, to telling me one day while having a thousand yard stare in his eye, “Papa, Santa is REAL.”

santa is real
He looked just like this when he said it, cigarette and all.

And so this Christmas, for the first time in his 5 years, he actually believed that some of the gifts left for him from “Santa” were ACTUALLY from Santa.

The thing is, I never thought I would be a parent that would perpetuate the illusion. But then, I never realized how much joy I would personally get out of my children’s sense of awe and wonder. Yes. I could explain to him what he actually witnessed. I could explain to him who the gifts are actually from. And eventually, I will. I will share the truth. And expose the lie. A lie that I am currently perpetuating.

But for one, I don’t know if he’ll actually believe me.
Or the truth.

And for another, in a way that’s just a return to what came before his experiences. And as I said, there is no going back.

So how can I even think to give ANY sort of universal statement to any of you? Something just as personal, if not more?
For one, I don’t know if you’ll actually believe me.
Or the truth.

And for another, as I said, there’s no going back to everything before the experiences of this year.

If there’s one takeaway or “truth” I can give, it’s this:

Stop holding on to Auld Lang Syne.
Stop hoping to get back to the way things were.

 

The worst thing you can do in the middle of a panic attack is fight it.

But you fight it because you want to get back to how you were BEFORE the panic attack. My daughter struggles with getting too worked up, and it is like a panic. And all she wants to do is go back to before her tantrum. All the way back to before whatever set off her overwhelming sense of anxiety and emotion. But that doesn’t solve it. And you can’t just do that every time something overwhelming comes up and causes you panic and extreme emotion.
Instead, recognize it for what it is, and then trust that it’s not forever. Let it wash over you. And through you. And come out the other side.

I sit in it with my daughter. It can be overwhelming. But I live it with her. I strive to remind her that it’s okay to feel it. But that we’re not going back to the beginning. Because that’s not going to help. And because there’s no going back.

And I’m trying to get to the place of doing that with myself.

Because it’s not about getting back to how you were before the event. Yet here’s the thing, it’s ALSO not about doing whatever you can to just…get to the other side.

Sometimes it takes just sitting and being present in the anxiety. The dread. The belief.
The WAIT.

The incompleteness.

And so it’s not about finding the lesson (or the takeaway). It’s not about finding the purpose. It’s not about finding the point. It’s not about finding the meaning.

It’s not about finding your spark.

In the newest Pixar film, Soul, the lead character Joe Gardner has been holding out “living,” hoping for the day his life will truly begin. That is, when he gets to be an actual performing jazz musician, rather than just teaching band to inner city kids. He dies.
And the rest of the film ensues.
But the thing I kept thinking is this: How can someone die who hasn’t actually lived?

See, Joe doesn’t accept his death, because he died right on the cusp of what he believed to be his life beginning. “I can’t die now! My life is about to finally begin!

It’s only through seeing a soul that doesn’t want to live, actually live his life (in his body. Movie logic), that he not only helps said soul (22) accept life, but maybe on a deeper level, is jealous of that someone else is living his life better than he is?
And why? Or rather, how?
Not by satisfying what he believes to be his purpose, his reason for being, his spark (jazz musician), but just “regular old living.” Talking with people. Truly connecting.

The insignificant with the sacred unique.

Soul ends with Joe accepting his death. Accepting the great beyond. And looking back over his life and realizing he’s already lived.
So then…when he’s given a second chance…

“So? What do you think you’ll do? How are you gonna spend your life?”
“I’m not sure. But I do know…I’m gonna live every minute of it.”

Living is what happens in between the moments you think or believe you’re actually waiting for.
Living IS the incomplete.
Not being complete. Or in the things you think or believe will make you complete.

The insignificant with the sacred unique.

You ready? To come live?

I’m scared I’m not good enough. And I never got my spark.

Yes, you did.
Your spark isn’t your purpose. That last box fills in when you’re ready to come LIVE.

I don’t have anything to say beyond this: I think I’m done teaching for a while. I mean, I have to for my job. But I don’t want anything beyond that for now. I’m tired of treating life like I’m waiting for it. I want to live. And see life. I want to learn. I want to meet you. And hear your story. I want to see life through your eyes. Because THAT is living.
If we only ever live through our own life, well then how much of life itself do we ever actually get to know?

It took a suicide attempt to fill in the last box and give me my spark.
It took a year like last to make it really matter, and for me to get intentional about it.

I wanna know all of it.

How am I gonna spend my life?

I don’t know. I don’t want to plan it.
I just want to live it. And see what happens. Or rather, what happens next.
Good. Bad. Boring. Lively. Panic. Joy. Known. Unknown. Doing something. Doing nothing. 
All the “moments.” And the in-between.

For all the love you’ve left behind
You can have mine…

 

See you all around the bend.

Thanks to all my patrons, parishioners, and anonymous supporters for their encouragement and support in writing and publishing this piece:
Abel
Astrid
Caleb
David
Gabe
Jess
Jen
Kelly
Manis
Mathunna
Max
Trini

(I WILL be pausing all donations and billing during this time)

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Filed under Celebrating, Celebrations, Dreams, Uncategorized

Anarchy and Christmas: No Gods! No Masters! Just a Baby in a Food Trough (Or…How Christmas is Witchcraft)

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SoLogically…”

In the scene above, the crew of Monty Python, riffing on the absurdity of witch “trials” of the past, comedically imbue the proceedings with “logic” and “reason.” But the humor stems from just how illogical their logic is. Their not emotionally brash, feeble minded people, just looking for a biblical “scapegoat” to burn, if for nothing but perhaps to pass the time, distract from the pain of present existence, and feel something like feeling alive…

No no. They’re analyzing, assessing, and handling the situation logically. They’re giving REASON to their “NEED” …to burn a witch.
Otherwise it’d be chaos…
Anarchy!

Well it’s Christmas. And for anyone that knows me, it’s my favorite time of year. It always serves to remind me of who I am, in a good way, connecting with aspects of myself that get forgotten through the year. I always feel like singing. And I always cry when I do. All of this, inevitably paired with flare ups of some pretty extreme anxiety.
I think that’s actually the true beauty of the season. It reveals.
Today is Winter Solstice, actually, and when I was a Montessori teacher, my means of inclusivity for celebrating this season was to say that the entirety of the holiday season was ultimately a celebration of light. No matter the belief, or holiday celebrated, ultimately what was being celebrated was light. Because light is almost sacred, especially in the darkest of darks, deep in the dark of winter. Because there’s beauty in light. Because light reveals. Much in the same way a refining fire purifies. For those that celebrate Christmas specifically, they celebrate the coming of the light of the world, into the world. In John Chapter 8, Jesus calls himself “the light of the world.”
Light reveals. Like fire burns. And refining fire purifies.

Ephesians 5:13
All things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.

Anything brought to the light BECOMES…light.

And I always find it fascinating the promises (or indicatives) just glossed over without any further thought. “When.” Not, “if.”
ALL THINGS become visible WHEN they are exposed by the light. Everything becomes light when it is exposed to the light. And “when” means that everything WILL be exposed to the light.
Wow, that sounds kinda like a magic spell. Some form of magic or witchcraft.

Kinda like turning water into wine at a party where everyone is already drunk.

Witchcraft

A magic spell, that doesn’t dispel darkness, nor destroy it. A magic spell that changes darkness into light.
Hey, can you imagine being a kid and having that magic at your disposal?
Oy. To anyone and everyone scared of the dark, this sort of magic has got to be some good news.

When I was younger, I was confused about a specific verse in the song, “G-d Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.”

In Bethlehem, in Israel
This blessed Babe was born
And laid within a manger
Upon this blessed morn
*The which His Mother Mary
Did nothing take in scorn
Oh tidings of comfort and joy
Comfort and joy
Oh tidings of comfort and joy

See, I didn’t understand the English structure or meaning, so when I heard it, I heard it with the assumption they were calling Baby Jesus a witch. THE Witch.
In Bethlehem, in Israel
This blessed Babe was born
And laid within a manger
Upon this blessed morn
The WITCH, His Mother Mary
Did nothing take in scorn
Oh tidings of comfort and joy
Comfort and joy
Oh tidings of comfort and joy

Baby Jesus was a witch! A child of prophecy! Bringing tidings of comfort and joy…
And to my credit, the story isn’t THAT far off from what is often part of some story like that.

Good news of great joy. Tidings of comfort and joy “that will be for all people. (Greek: pas)” (Luke 2:10)
So was it good news of great joy? For all people? For literally EVERYONE?
And…is it?
IS Christmas “good news of great joy” for–and no exaggeration here–literally everyone?

What about Herod?

How’d Herod view Christmas and what it symbolizes? What about those like Herod? I mean, you shepherds, tending their flocks by night, what we would basically call backwoods poorfolk. More than just peasants. Hillbillies maybe. The lowest of the low. Bottom tier, on the social hierarchy. They get the proclamation from the heavenly host. Like a crazy LSD trip. And they go. Maybe because like the peasants in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, it reveals something more than the pain of present existence. And, given their life, anything more is a good thing. But what about those at the top? The kings. The businessman. The Herods.

Well according to the story, we KNOW how Herod responded.

Herod went on a witch hunt.

But…why?

Was it for the baby’s magic? The same reason Queen Bavmorda hunted down Elora Danan in Willow?

Fuck Yeah Willow — “Turned against me…”“This child will have no power over me.”

Same story we’ve heard over and over. Good news to EVERYONE! Except…the one (or many) who will be overthrown.

By a baby.
A weak easily killable thing.

Later in Willow, the main character tells his family, “Under no condition, whatsoever, is anyone in this family to fall in love with that baby!

Isn’t that witchcraft?
LOVE??
At least according to ol’ Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra, it is.

Those fingers in my hair
That sly come-hither stare
That strips my conscience bare
It’s witchcraft

Faith Hill sung a song about how a baby changes everything, and last year at this time, I talked about how that IS, indeed the case, and just what a baby causes you to face.

Both my kids fiddle with my hair. And there is just this look they both can give that beckons me over.
Like two little witches.

And their witchcraft DOES indeed, serve to strip my conscience bare.

Maybe there are just those that don’t like the idea of that. Maybe Herod just wasn’t ready to have his conscience stripped bare.

Or maybe it’s all about the loss of control. Specifically power. Herod was top tier.
And that good news of great joy for ALL PEOPLE, was bad news for non-peoples.
For those parts that don’t WANT to be all people. They want to be above all people. In some way or another.

What comes to mind when you hear the word, “anarchy”?

Lawlessness? The protests throughout this year? ACAB? Defund the Police?
The end of the suburbs?
An end to law and order? To civility? To decency?

anarcybgdc

Makes sense. Except lawlessness is barbarism. And anarchy isn’t barbarism.

Anarchy comes from the Greek for having no ruler, but really has more to do with being in opposition to archos—not merely a ruler, but someone above another. Basically, any “archy” is a hierarchy. And the preface “an” denotes being “anti” archy. Maybe not always AGAINST hierarchies of any kind, but perhaps simply being the OPPOSITE. Like an atheist doesn’t always denote being AGAINST theism, but just being the opposite of a theist, being NOT a theist.

Or like a king who chooses not to come in power, but the opposite of power. In weakness. Vulnerability. The lowest of the low. And invites US to care for the king like you would a helpless baby.
Witchcraft

You see, anarchy believes there is no justification to rule. That all rule comes out of force, not consent. And when you enter a RELATIONSHIP, well true love comes from consent, NOT force.
A baby doesn’t FORCE me to care for it. I give up myself to do so.
Like a spell or something cast over me.
Like some sort of…

WITCHCRAFT

Chesterton spoke heavily of the metaphor of Christmas in his book, “The Everlasting Man.
And in it, he refers to “The G-d in the Cave.”
He talks of how in that region, in those days, farmers and shepherds would more often take advantage of the caves in the surrounding region to shelter their livestock, than they were to build entirely new structures just for animals.
So Christmas is the story of the G-d most high, being born underground. Almost as if G-d was being smuggled in.
And in doing so, flipped the world upside-down. The G-d above all, was now below all.
The top, was now bottom. The first last, and the last first.

When I was younger, I used to believe in Christmas as G-d’s means of bringing order to a disordered world. A world CRAVING for order, and striving to create it anywhere it can.
(In fact, one of the only times the Bible mentions a vote is during the Easter story, when Pontius Pilate told the people to vote for which prisoner he was to free. And the people chose Barabbas. Barabbas literally means son of the Rabbi. Who interpreted the LAW. When faced with a choice between two Jesuses, between two SONS, the people chose “Law and Order.)

But as I’ve grown older, I’ve realized that it’s the exact opposite. Christmas isn’t about bringing order to our disorder. But about bringing disorder to our order.

“…heaven above the earth, and hell under the earth. But in the riddle of Bethlehem, it was heaven that was under the earth.
There is in that alone the touch of a revolution, as of the world turned upside-down.
(Everlasting Man, pg. 173)

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” – Galatians 3:28

In Jesus, the “Light of the world,” there are no separations. There are no “dividing walls of hostility.” Because everything becomes light when brought to the light.
I wonder what else there is neither of in Jesus.
Maybe something like “there’s neither secular nor religious, there is neither rich nor poor, there is neither radical left nor radical right, communist nor capitalist, gay nor straight, cis nor trans.”
Powerful nor weak.
Those above and those below.

Basically, it sounds like what Galatians 3:28 is getting at, is that “there are no means of establishing “archy” of any kind in Jesus. There are NO HIERARCHIES in light, because it’s all light and it’s all ONE.”

ANARCHY…

Christmas isn’t about order. Its about disorder.
To OUR ORDER.

It’s like taking something and blaspheming it.
Like a punk rock edition of silent night.
Or a band called “Bad Religion” singing O Come O Come Emmanuel.

Christmas is ANARCHY.

To our “archy.” Our hierarchies. Our rulers. Our rulings.
Our RULES.

Because LOVE is the ultimate anarchy.

Anarchy Is For Lovers

No force. Consent.

And that’s good news of great joy to all.

Just not to power. And not to you if you believe YOU ARE YOUR POWER.
What would you say gives you power? Your masculinity? Your femininity?
Your money? Your position? Who you vote for?
That you’re an American?
Your smarts? Your skills?

What if Christmas actually poses a threat to those things?
What if you started seeing Christmas as something that scared you?
Witchcraft! Anarchy!
Disorder! Chaos!
An upside-down world!

A baby, the light of the world, G-d, the G-d above, willingly taking a place BENEATH you? Below you?
Where YOU are above G-d? The King of Kings, weak. In need of your care. Of your love.
All that you believed and the order you formed your life around, suddenly flipped upside-down and sent into disarray.
Like riots. Or a virus. Or an election.

Like Witchcraft.
Like Anarchy.

How much like Herod are you? How much like Queen Bavmorda?
Does Christmas insult you?
Does Christmas threaten you?

This child will have no power over me.

Does Christmas SCARE you?
Does it scare you enough…

If heaven and hell switch places, those closest to heaven end up becoming those closest to hell.
I would imagine they’d like to make sure they maintain their position.
Their proximity to heaven.
But not at the expense of themselves.

Which is often what love calls for.

Love calls to us, at the expense of ourselves. And it calls us to surrender control. Surrender our lives.

Maybe that’s why we hate magic.
We’ve “got no defense for it
the heat is too intense for it
What good would common sense for it do?

I wonder if the real meaning of Christmas is an insult to our common sense. Our reason. Our logic.
And because of that, its as much witchcraft as that witch in Monty Python was, simply because of logic. And weighing the same as a duck.

Maybe the fire the burns in you around this time of year is a spell. Meant to burn away all that is not. Refine. However long and however many Christmases it may take.

When you arouse the need in me
My heart says “Yes, indeed” in me
“Proceed with what you’re leadin’ me to”

Nevertheless, not my will, but YOURS be done.
Proceed with what you’re leadin’ me to.

Become light. Let go of your order. Become love. Let go of your rule.
Embrace the Anarchy and the Witchcraft of Christmas…

What I think I’m saying is, surrender.
And in Jesus’ name, see what a little Anarchy and Witchcraft does to you, and for your spirit, this holiday season.
->and the world WILL be better for this…

Thanks to all my patrons, parishioners, and anonymous supporters for their encouragement and support in writing and publishing this piece:
Abel
Astrid
Caleb
David
Gabe
Jess
Jen
Kelly
Manis
Mathunna
Max
Trini

 

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Filed under Celebrating, Celebrations, Christmas, God stuff, Holiday

Give Thanks and Let It Kill You

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“Good times gone, and you missed them.
What’s gone wrong in your system?

Good times gone, but you feed it.
Hate’s grown strong, you feel you need it.
Just one thing, do you know you?

What’s gonna set you free?
Look inside and you’ll see.
When you’ve got so much to say, it’s called gratitude.
And that’s right.”

Well how many have found this year incredibly easy to be grateful for? No?
Quite opposite, most likely.
In the season of thanksgiving, how do you…give THANKS when there seems so little to give thanks for?

Good times seem a distant memory, and we miss them.
A year of isolation, of misinformation, of lies, and of hate.

When the obscene and the profane overwhelms, where is the sacred? And how do you give thanks?
What does Thanksgiving even look like anymore?

WHERE IS THE MEANING IN ALL THIS MEANINGLESSNESS???

Well if you’ve been keeping up with me for any length of time, you’ll know I’ve spoken to some extent on the subject of meaning. And about just maybe where the presence of eternity is (hint: here and now, if only you just LOOK for it). However, I was asked recently about what my thoughts were on “those who are worthy of inheriting the kingdom of G-d.” And while I gave a pretty stream of consciousness answer to a very heavy question, I’ve got to be honest, it’s weighed on me since being asked (but in a good way. A good…weigh.). Particularly in light of both the Thanksgiving holiday, and also this holiday season itself.

Who are those worthy of inheriting the Kingdom???

At first glance, I think it’s easy to reduce this answer into doctrine and dogma, and by doing so, completely miss the meaning. And the wonder.
The Kingdom is G-d’s presence. Where G-d dwells. Nothing shameful nor deceitful can enter. It is a place consecrated. Set apart. Holy.
Sacred.

Sanctified.

So it would make sense that those “worthy of inheriting” the Kingdom are ALSO set apart. Also Holy. Those worthy of inheriting a holy, sacred, sanctified and set apart Kingdom…are those who THEMSELVES are holy, sacred, sanctified and set apart.
And YET, we’re told by Jesus that when you pray, it should be like this (form and structure, including these elements): “Thy KINGDOM COME, Thy WILL BE DONE. Here on earth, as it is in heaven.”

Those of you that pray the Lord’s prayer. Those of you that say those exact words, do you ACTUALLY EVEN BELIEVE IT? Do you actually MEAN the words you say when you say them? G-d’s Kingdom come, here and now on earth as it is in heaven, G-d’s Will be done, here and now on earth as it is in heaven.” Do you mean it? Do you really want that? Not to wait for death in order to reach Heaven, but for Heaven to DWELL, HERE and NOW, on earth. (We ARE told to seek the Kingdom first, not wait for heaven….seek the Kingdom HERE and NOW. And given the promise that when we seek, we SHALL find… hmmmmm. I don’t know if that was meant to be a brain teaser.)

I wonder if that’s actually the second bit of that prayer: G-d’s Will be done. The Will IS for the Kingdom to “come,” here and now, on earth. 

Well so then what IS this Kingdom that we’re asking to come and be here and now?
What IS the “Will” that we’re asking to come and be here and now?

1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18
Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is G-d’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

THIS is G-d’s will: “chairō pantote; proseuchomai adialeiptōs; eucharisteō pas.”

chairō pantote: lit. “be glad always”
proseuchomai adialeiptōs: lit. “pray incessantly”
eucharisteō pas: lit. “be thankful in all (or all things)”

Wow. So G-d’s Will is to celebrate Thanksgiving more than just once a year, and more than just for America.
Hey did you catch the Greek word for being thankful, or professing (verbally) thanks, the Greek word for “giving thanks” is eucharisteō? Where we get our word eucharist? If you’re not Catholic, the Eucharist is the holy tradition of transubstantiation. Begun by Jesus and His Apostles at the Last Supper, transubstantiation is when priests turn bread and wine into His Real Presence, His Body and Blood.
You may think of it as Communion.
Now I’m no Catholic (hell, I’m also probably not much of a Protestant), but I find it fascinating that the Eucharist IS Thanksgiving. And Thanksgiving IS…the Eucharist.

And partaking in it IS G-d’s will.

Maybe the Beastie Boys were right:
What’s gonna set you free?
Look inside and you’ll see.
When you’ve got so much to say, it’s called gratitude.
And that’s right.

So G-d’s Will is to be THANKFUL. In ALL THINGS. Good, bad, sacred, profane.
But…WHY? And what about the Kingdom Come?
Is it just the power of positive thinking? Denial of negativity, of wickedness, of obscenity and profanity?

Is G-d’s will just for us to force ourselves to be happy and optimistic, even if/when we’re not?

Romans 12: 2
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what the will of G-d is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Well we’re told what the will of G-d is: To give thanks in ALL things.
But again, WHY? Just because we’re commanded to?

1 Timothy 4:4-5
For everything created by G-d is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude (eucharisteō); for it is sanctified by means of the word of G-d and prayer.

Now…I have to take a moment and address the thing we need to take note of: throughout scripture, you’ve got a message that G-d created all things, good AND bad.
Ephesians 3:9 “G-d, who created all things”.
Isaiah 45:7 “The One forming light and creating darkness, causing well-being and chaos (lit. evil): I am the Lord who does all these.
Colossians 1:15-17 “He is the image of the invisible G-d, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
John 1:1-3 “In beginning was the Word, and the Word was with G-d, and the Word was G-d. He was in the beginning with G-d. All things came into being through Him and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

Those last two are referring to Jesus. But they call him “the Word.” And in “the Word,” ALL THINGS are not only made, but ALL THINGS hold together. “Word” here in the Greek is logos. Literally meaning “spoken word.” But also “reason,” and even “meaning.”
So when we look back at 1 Timothy 4, “For everything created by G-d is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude (eucharisteō); for it is sanctified by means of THE WORD (lit. logos) of G-d and prayer.”

If a thing is received with gratitude, that is, a spoken word of thanksgiving, it is SANCTIFIED by means of THE WORD.

When you’ve got so much to say it’s called gratitude.
And that’s right.” 
What if all you say (your spoken word, lit. “logos”) IS gratitude, that is, IS Thanksgiving (eucharisteō), and you aren’t even aware. 
And it’s not only MAKING all things, but holding ALL THINGS together.

And you don’t even know it

But becoming AWARE of it, would it cause you to want to actively participate in it? In the eucharisteō?
In Thanksgiving?

What’s the will of G-d? 
To pray incessantly, and give thanks in all things. But if the Bible is true, then by doing so, we not only SEE the GOODNESS of and in all things (as all things are created by G-d THROUGH the Word that is Jesus), but by doing so, we SANCTIFY. ALL. THINGS.

WATCH VIDEO:

The name Jesus means, “G-d IS Salvation (not “provides salvation”, IS SALVATION)” but maybe the WORD of G-d, the LOGOS, IS…THANKSGIVING.

Eucharisteō.

What if the Will of G-d IS truly to pray and give thanks, to speak Thanksgiving INTO the world. Because by doing so, you SANCTIFY it. You set apart and make holy everything you “give thanks” for.
The Holy of Holy’s was the temple, but somehow beyond just the temple. It is said to be where the presence of G-d dwelled among men.
The PRESENCE…of everything we hope of what’s to come. The Kingdom of Heaven, but in a tiny little living space.
It was the future, but here and now in the present. It was the pace where “it is finished. (telos. Lit. “COMPLETED, FULFILLED”).” A place of Goodness and Shalom. Everything is good and in its right place.
That presence, that space that is Holy and Sacred.
And there was a curtain that separated it from NOW, from HERE. Divided. Separated the holy, the sacred, the sanctified and set apart, from the obscene and the profane.
And then Jesus said on the cross, “it is finished.” And that curtain tore in two. Split asunder.
And that PRESENCE spilled out.
And that presence is now EVERYWHERE, making its way into EVERYTHING.
The Holy of Holy’s is no longer in a tiny little living space. The holy, the sacred, the sanctified and set apart is now EVERYWHERE, making its way into EVERYTHING.

The KINGDOM…has come.

Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be done. Here and Now on earth, as it is in Heaven.”

G-d’s Will is for us to be thankful.
In all things, and for all thingsGood, bad, sacred, profane. The holy things, AND the unholy things. Because when you do, you see that there IS nothing unholy. Everything has worth. Giving thanks doesn’t GIVE worth, nor is it only for things that have worth. It REVEALS worth.

And the promise is, when you give thanks?
All things are sanctified.

Maybe that’s the meaning for this season. The meaning for Thanksgiving. And moreso, the meaning for the eucharist. Catholics consider the Eucharist, the turning bread and wine into Jesus, the “Source and Summit’’ of the faith. We consume Jesus, and join with Him. But the MEANING behind the Greek word, Eucharisteō, IS to GIVE THANKS.
It’s not just to be thankful for Christ. It’s that in doing so, we’re engaged in the sacred. And the sacred is Jesus. And the sacred is giving thanks. But there’s more.
You see, according to scripture, the WORD, the logos, is not only what makes things sacred, it holds all things together. And when we partake in the eucharist we partake of Jesus. When we partake of Jesus, we join with Him in PERFORMING the sacred.
In giving thanks for all things, we engage in creating all things. And ultimately, sanctifying all things. 
Because the Eucharist isn’t just about taking IN Jesus, consuming the Logos. It’s also about SPEAKING that Logos.
And when we do so, we engage in the sacred. And thus, not only reveal our own sacredness, but are revealed, we WITNESS the sacredness of ALL THINGS. The worthiness of ALL THINGS.

 

So to answer that question:
Who is worthy of the Kingdom of G-d?” 
ONLY the holy, the sacred, the sanctified and set apart are.

But guess what, if scripture is true, then we can set apart all things. Make them holy, and sacred.
If scripture is true, if we’re to believe it, WE have the ability to sanctify ALL THINGS.

Maybe that “Word”, the logos—that is, the MEANING, that holds all things together is, “thanks!”
Maybe…the thing that not only creates all things, sustains all things, AND..holds all things together, is gratitude
When you’ve got so much to say (the word, that is, the Logos), it’s called gratitude.

Through OUR thanksgiving, we can sanctify ALL THINGS.

And as such, ALL THINGS are—IN THANKSGIVINGWORTHY of inheriting the Kingdom of G-d.


…And THAT…sounds like “the Kingdom.
And moreso, that might just be what’s meant by the “Kingdom COME.

Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done. Here and now as it is in heaven.

Give thanks, see the kingdom, sanctify ALL things.

Wait a minute! There’s things here! There’s trees! There’s rocks! There’s birds! There’s squirrels! Come on! We’ll BLESS them all until we get vashnigyered!


Let’s party.

Thanks to all my patrons, parishioners, and anonymous supporters for their encouragement and support in writing and publishing this piece:
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Astrid
Caleb
David
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