Glorious Good Friday




“I have suggested in conversations that whilst church and religion is a great “starter pack”, just like kindergarten, there should come a time when “church” says, “That’s it – now leave here and find the world, find others like you, grow as you will never grow staying here – goodbye.”

I have never had a positive response to that.”


Another “reflection” on the annual Easter Festival now underway.


“Either “The bible says we should gather together – that is church”, or “But where would we go, and how would we find others like us?”

Just like questioning Easter.  Tinkered-with and sexed-up to keep it fresh – but essentially the same thing year after year – a surprise party without the surprise.

Does this sound jaundiced?”


“Yes it sounds jaundiced.

Because there is an alternative.  To actually be one of those “radical faith festival celebs” (just without the festival or the celeb).  Radical faith is no more than thinking outside the (religious) box – enjoying the freedom to allow God out of that box – finding “nourishment” more and more in the everyday AND the everywhere AND in everyone.”


Why not head over to “Does this sound jaundiced?” and have a look – it is Good Friday after all.

Thank you –




A Different Perspective

It all comes down to love.


When I read, “Deny yourself, take up your cross daily and follow me (Luke 9:23),” I hear something quite different than most folks. (Are you surprised? I do walk to the beat of a different drummer.) Most folks hear Jesus saying, “Yes, following me will be a huge burden; it will involve suffering. It will involve giving up many things. It may involve walking away from friends and family. It definitely includes telling people about me. Only the fittest will survive this journey. So pick up that cross and follow me!”

I am certain from this point of view comes the fear of displeasing God, of losing his love, of losing salvation. From this point of view comes the fear of not being fit, not fitting in, not performing up to snuff, not gaining entrance to heaven. We were not meant to fear; we were meant to abide in God’s love so we do not fear. The apostle John writes, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” (1 John 4:18)

Why else would Jesus say, “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. These things I have spoken to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:9-11)

©The Passion of the Christ
©The Passion of the Christ

The cross was a horrific image to first century listeners. Today, it would be analogous to an electric chair or a hanging noose. If we are to follow the words and actions of Jesus, we must remember he did not carry his cross alone. Simon of Cyrene helped him on that long walk to Golgotha. (Matthew 27:32) And just as Jesus cast his burden onto Simon and permitted him to assist, Jesus tells us to cast our burdens onto him, and exchange them for his singular burden.

“Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:29-30 emphasis mine)

Based on his words and actions, when I read those words, “Deny yourself, take up your cross daily and follow me,” I hear Jesus saying, “Look, it doesn’t matter what your personal prejudices or agendas are; that’s your cross to bear. My commands (the ones I gave to all people in all places for all times) are paramount; they are fundamental, and central to my Gospel. If you want that cross to keep weighing you down, fine. But if you want to follow me, I tell you here and now, my burden is far lighter. My burden is love. Love God and your neighbors. Love each other as I have loved you.

Yes, make disciples; that is, make people feel safe and loved. Tell people the truth of the Good News, that they are invited into the family of God right now, just as they are. Then help them in their journey to accept the Father’s unconditional love and grace. Are you courageous enough to do this, to take up my burden and walk with me?”

When Jesus said, “Follow me,” he expected us to follow his commands. But which commands? Some of his commands were for a specific time and place (like telling the rich young ruler to give up his possessions), but others, based on Hebrew grammar, were universal:

Jesus answered him, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and most important commandment. The second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’” (Matthew 22:37-39)

“I’m giving you a new commandment: Love each other in the same way that I have loved you. (John 13:34)

“Make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19)

“Teach these new disciples to obey all these commands (Yep, these four – five including this one!) I have given you.” (Matthew 29:20)

So, based on these commands, are you ready to follow him?

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Messiah has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves his children, too. We know we love God’s children when we love God and obey his commandments. Loving God means keeping his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And the victory that has overcome the world is our faith. (1 John 5:1-4 emphasis mine)

(Thank you to Don Merritt and Little Monk for the clarity of instruction on the grammar of the commandments of Jesus.)

The Resurrection – What’s the Big Deal?

Empty TombFrom time to time across my life, the Lord has granted me the grace of some “new” understanding of Him, of me, of “stuff” relating the two… of Him and the world… just… “something”… on Easter morning. This effect is always the most profound when He guides me along some “path of preparation” (rather reminiscent of John the Baptist’s “prepare ye the way of the Lord… Make straight paths…”) during Lent.

I put the word “new” in quotations opening this post, because what I learn is often not “new” at all… It is something, some word or phrase, that we ALL know… that we’ve ALWAYS known… maybe all our lives. And yet, the learning opens before me with unimagined depth and breadth, such that it seems I had never heard or seen it before.

This Easter, this Resurrection Sunday just past, has been one of those times and, to be perfectly frank, I’m still “recovering” from it.

I awoke, gently… quietly… and the Lord spoke just one single word. “Resurrection”

That’s all He said. But…

I could not even move from my bed before He just “unfolded” that word before me… took me inside of it… let me watch in an entirely new way what HE means/meant by it… that it felt as if I lay there for two hours, though it may have been seconds, minutes, or half the day. Time just stood suspended.

Jesus, sitting up naked, clearing Himself of His winding sheet in Joseph of Arimathea’s borrowed tomb? Yes. That was there. But… but… there was just so much MORE! I had never thought about the actual technical “meaning” behind the word “re-surrection”. It means… “breathing again”. It became this “coming-again-to-life” of not only Jesus, but all of mankind, and all of the fallen world, and all of the Cosmos, all of Creation.

The Re-surrection was, is, the “Fresh Start of Life”, buried with Jesus in His death, raised again in Newness of Life…

Not just Him, not just “us”, but ALL!

Is that a big enough deal?

How about this, then?

Two things, ONLY two things, denote the Christian… the one translated from domain of darkness to kingdom of light, Kingdom of God… to trust and acknowledge that The Father sent Jesus, the Son… and raised Him from the dead.

Why is that “all we need to know”? Because within THAT, all else is contained and subsumed.

How many times have I heard the protest, “Being a Christian is too hard. I go to Church and I don’t know enough. Everybody in Sunday School knows all this ‘stuff’ and I feel like an ignorant fool! And the Bible is too complicated, all these rules, verses, books, stories. I just don’t get it. I’m not SMART ENOUGH to be a Christian or go to church!”

Oh, the pain in my heart at such words!

What did the APOSTLES require of a “new church” just “getting with the program” in the First Century?

Three Things: (1) No fornication. (2) No eating the meat of strangled animals. (3) No eating meat sacrificed to idols.

I mean, they had a big MEETING about it and everything! And that’s what they settled on. Now, how “complicated” is all that for a Church Covenant?

There wasn’t any Bible at the time to impress one another with, or make gentiles memorize.

Paul repeats time and time again, he preaches(preached) only Jesus, and Him crucified!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Christian life should never get so complicated, Gentle Readers.

Believe in the Father, His love, His provision. Believing in the Son sent from the Father, born true man, living as true man yet truly God son of God. Believing in the Passion, the Cross, and… AND… the RESURRECTION!

Life, pulled from the maw of death… destroying death and darkness once and for all in the glory and power of Life and Light!

Love God, love neighbor, love self. Love as Jesus loves…

Complicated? Hardly!

But this word, Gentle Reader… the Power of this Word… Resurrection!

When we believe in Jesus of the Resurrection, we believe in Jesus of the Cross, and Jesus of the Gospels, and Jesus of the Manger. When we believe in Jesus of the Resurrection, we believe in God the Father who raised Him. We believe in God and the Old Testament, and the Covenant God made with man, to care for him as his God, and receive him as His people. When we believe in Jesus of the Resurrection, we believe in God who walked in the Garden of Eden in the cool of the day, and who fashioned man in His own image, and who fashioned Adam and Eve as created He them.

Many many peoples have worshiped gods who bring death from life. Many peoples have worshiped gods who demand sacrifice in payment for their blessing and good will. Many peoples have worshiped gods who generate fear to constrain and rule men.

Our God is none of that. Our God brings Life at the destruction of death. Our God sacrificed Himself, to feed and bring blessing to men. Our God generates Love that conquers fear, and has removed punishment having taken that upon Himself.

This is not complicated. We need not make it so. This is simple relationship. And we can decide… each of us individually… whether or not we CHOOSE to TRUST in such relationship. And… we can invite others to do so, generally in words of nearly one syllable.

God is so urgently, so intently, so intimately present… right here, right now… seeking relationship of touch and immediacy with His children…

One friend I had used to put it this way:

  1. Do you believe that Jesus truly lived, and was sent by Our Father, God?
  2. Do you believe that Jesus truly died, hung on the Cross?
  3. Do you believe that Jesus truly rose again, resurrected by the Father?
  4. Has he ever died since?
  5. Then He must be alive right now!!!

Let us all be Resurrected, freed of deadness, numbness, decay, atrophy. Let us all be made alive! Wonderfully alive! Totally Alive! As only HE knows and makes Life!

It’s just not that complicated, is it? Be joyful in the grace of New Life!

Angel’s Journal, Entry Six: “Who Could Believe This?!!”

Journal Entry:

I still can scarcely believe these days myself, but I have to get something down about all this. It all began so bleakly…

The vulgarity… the violence… the contempt… I cannot even write down my thoughts or feelings about what happened between The Master’s betrayal by Judas, and His final breath on the Cross. Perhaps later, but not now, not yet.

And then… He died.

He really, totally, died. Just like most every other man born of woman. He died. The groan throughout heaven was nearly palpable. The higher ups looked grave, but unsurprised. Even *I* realized that He had spoken clearly that He was going to die, but still… I mean… how could this be? So often, He spoke “figuratively”. I guess I had hoped this was one of those kinds of thing. But it wasn’t. He died.

His Body was taken down, laid in a borrowed tomb, and he was hurriedly washed and anointed, as even His friends had to get home before the sun fully set.

But then… then… the strangest thing(s) happened! (For one thing, “time” got really muddled between the celestial and the material.) Because He remained fully Him, and yet His natures… Well, I don’t really understand HOW this all happened, but I’ll just note down what DID happen!

Anyway, He was washed, anointed, wrapped, and left in that tomb. The Temple officials (not caring about their OWN people getting home for the Passover night), posted guards and rolled this megalith in front of the entrance so that no one could get to Him. (Ha! Little did THEY know. But I get ahead of myself…)

Anyway, no sooner had the tomb been sealed, than a little messenger sprite pops in front of me with a sealed scroll with gilt edges. I open it, and find I am summoned to the commissioning desk… I have an assignment. I shook my head… “REALLY?” I thought… “in the midst of all THIS, now it’s ‘business as usual’, and I have an assignment?” But it was better than doing nothing, I figured, so I zipped to the desk to serve as I was called.

Never did I imagine!

Twelve of us had been summoned, and the task director was just beaming all over as he congratulated us, and said if he were capable of envy he would envy us. He seemed to take delight in our puzzled expressions, and said very little as reverently he handed each of us various garments of exquisite crafting. Sandals, undergarments, finest linen tunic, sash… it wasn’t until he got to the final garments, a magnificent Robe and covering cloak that we realized Whose these were. This clothing was woven of spirit and truth, had indefinable texture as fine as spidersilk, and shone with colors no human eye has ever seen.

These… were The Master’s robes… His Kingly Robes… His Priestly Robes. These were the garments He would wear upon His return to Earth at the end of man time… and they were here… HERE… in OUR HANDS!

Our assignment was simple. We were to proceed, the dozen of us, to and into the tomb, and await The Master’s need for His clothing.

We were stunned… but delighted.

With the speed of thought, we entered the Tomb. It was large enough, with a stone niche in which The Master’s body, wound with His gravesclothes, lay. We arrived, each bearing our items, and waited.

It was not but moments before we… er… “felt”, more than “heard”, the melodious voice of The Father, His Majesty, intone with the greatest love…

“Awaken now, My Son. Well, well done, My good and faithful Beloved. Come, rise now, as We complete Our tasks!”

The Master arose, in the fullness of His Glorious Body, as His flesh remained within the winding sheet. Confused though we were, we knelt and sang in joy and wonder at His return. Our presence had already brought light into the space, but His arising prompted a golden glowing brilliance never seen since the Shekinah.

Always knowing the thoughts of those about Him, He smiled as He donned each garment in order, answering the confusions in myself.

I have already said, the whole “time” thing got a bit muddled in this space between sundown Friday and sunrise of Sunday (as men name these days).

“You wonder why My flesh remains here for the moment… Well, I have said My body must remain in the earth for these three days, as Jonah was in the whale. I will not appear to any on earth, until that flesh arises and the stone is rolled away. But, in this meantime, I have things to accomplish… and a dinner date at home this night with a thief.” And He smiled at us, touched us all, and allowed us to serve Him as we fitted His garments to Him.

“You may remain with Me for this time, if you wish…” He said.

We wished.

Together, He and we twelve singing praises to Him, His Majesty, and The Radiance… sped towards heaven. We thought He would return to His Throne first and foremost, to see The Father. But we were wrong…

Instead, He headed first to the Temple Not Made With Hands… the one foreshadowed and copied by the Tabernacle and Temple of Jerusalem. We stood, six to a side, as He made the Once For All Offering of His own Life, His Own Blood, in total and utter satisfaction of all debt owed by the sin of Creation. It was amazing.

Having thus completed Reconciliation, He THEN went to The Father’s Throne, to bring “closure” to His offering. They only spoke a few moments, as His Majesty raised His hands and blessed both The Master and all of Creation, in the completion of this Sacrifice of and by The Lamb of God. They embraced, The Master bowed (as did we all), and strode from the Great Hall.

Each of us were very silent, wondering how long we could tag along before being dismissed, as we fanned out from Him something like an Honor Guard. All around us cheered and bowed, as The Master passed… and He seemed vibrant with joy and celebration as He touched as many as reached out to Him.

We got to the boundary of paradise, the threshold between our dimension and others, as He said, “I have one more task to complete for the moment. Would you care to come along?” We all eagerly assented. “Very well,” He continued. “You’re about to go somewhere you have never been, and may well never go again. We depart.”

Following Him, we were shocked to find ourselves at… the Gates of Hell. More precisely, we were at the veil of the underworld, the land of shades of those passed on. Great symbolic chains, locks, bars, and barriers kept the living, the ever living, and the dead apart and separated. With no more than a mighty sweep of His arm, and a cry of, “People of faith! Walk free into the Light! Welcome to My Kingdom, ye Saints!”… all the obstructions vanished, and those whose hopes had ever been in the Lord, were now able to come to Him, touch Him, kiss Him, hug Him.

Being Who, and what, and how, He is… He could (and did) greet and embrace them each by name. Together, we all made our way home to Paradise.

When we had returned, all tasks done, The Master passed through His quarters and emerged dressed once again in His typical simple style.

He called ten of us to be privileged to care for His things for a time, and serve at a banquet being held for Him, the Father, the Radiance, the returning saints, and one recently deceased thief. Two of us (myself, disappointedly) were not among the chosen. I tried not to show my disappointment… but you can’t “hide thoughts” around Him.

“Don’t be dejected,” He said as He smiled. “I have a different task for you and Heracles, if you don’t mind.” (We smiled broadly, nodding our assent.) “I would like you to return to My Tomb, and stand vigil over My Body. In ‘our time’ here, it will only be a few moments from now. But in ‘man time’ it will be about 36 hours, and I will return. You will then break open the Tomb as I exit, and remain behind to explain what has happened. Will you deliver these messages for Me?”

We could scarcely contain our glee!

And so it came to pass. On the Third Day, Heracles and I participated in a great earthquake and rolled away the stone, watched The Master rise in His Resurrected Body of Flesh, saw Him disappear, folded His graveclothes, and awaited the women who came to anoint His corpse properly.

Should I live forever (which of course, I shall… but still…)… Should I live forever, I shall NEVER forget the privilege…

I got to sit atop a great heavy sealing stone and say to some of The Master’s very Best Friends…

“Why do you seek the Living among the Dead? He is Risen, just as He said He would…”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Who could ever believe such a thing?

No… wait… apparently THAT is now a very important question. One of those “choice” things I spoke of before…

Oh well. Enough for now. A bit more, later. Allelujah! He is Risen!

Journal Entry by — Makarion Nous, Angel 3rd Class, General Duties

P.S. I know this entry is a little longer than normal… But… well… the day was a bit unusual, too! MN

Angel’s Journal, Entry Five: “A Drama of Choices!”

Journal Entry:

All is quiet now, all the tumult having died away and The Master laid into His borrowed Tomb. Now… there is… TIME!

“TIME”… that principle difference between human and angelic consciousness and thought. “TIME”… that “tick/tock” thing that people experience between one event and the next, one encounter and the next, one element of a sequence and the next. We don’t have that, we don’t know “delay”. For us, all is “sequence”… one thought follows another, like pages in a book. There is no “space” or “distance”, or “process” or “ponder”. We do not “consider” between “choices”. We CHOSE, we MADE our CHOICE, and now… for us… there is simply “discern-and-do” as to His Majesty’s will.

The other difference, a critical difference, between human and angelic consciousness is “illusion-deceit-falsehood”. We SEE, we truly see. We cannot be deceived or fooled or lied to or misled. Dark Ones cannot paint a false picture before us of specious choices, and tempt us to lean away from His Majesty’s will.

Somehow, all that… both “time” and “falsehood”… are bound up with physical matter. Since we are utterly “spirit”, those subordinate orders of being, those things that depend on material substance and comparison to have meaning, simply don’t. They have no meaning or hold over us.

It was in Eden, in the Garden of Eden, at the beginning of material Creation, when His Majesty and The Master began to weave together the spiritual and the material, the substantive, when both “time” and “falsehood” were realized from the potential to the actual. We angels can “observe” such a state of existence, and we can even “participate in” it from time to time (at His Majesty’s bidding), but we do not… we CANNOT… fully experience or comprehend it.

Facility in both spirit and matter are Divine attributes. His Majesty, The Master, The Radiance… they can all create in both spirit and matter. We cannot. But Man… Man, now… Man is fashioned in His image, can enter fully into Him, and in Him can create in both matter and spirit.

What has all this got to do with the horrendous events that have just passed? Well… EVERYTHING! They have EVERYTHING to do with it!

Because we angels are truly “sons of God” created at His hands… yes. But we are purely spirit, we made ONE and only one “choice” (to embrace Him or to repel Him), and we live apart from material time or illusion, in the Eternal. We are, therefore and fully, “servants” to Him and His will.

Man, on the other hand, lives in the material (though with fully spiritual faculties), is subject to material time (the tick-tock kind), and can be deluded and misled. Therefore, MAN lives in a state of moment-by-moment CHOICE regarding His Majesty and His will. Every moment, man gets to choose to embrace His Majesty and His will, or to repel Him.

And THAT… is EVERYTHING… about these momentous and horrendous events these days…

I wrote last of the exit from the Passover Supper into the Garden of Gethsemane on “Thursday night”. From that exit, and the separation of Judas from the group, The Master knew and tried to prepare His (now) “friends” for what the next 18 hours would bring.

So many things occurred in such a “brief” (humanly speaking) span of time… a person could spend years tracking all the threads of all the drama there. The fears, the ambitions, the delusions, the agendas… The Romans, the Politicians, the Religious Leaders, the Pious, the Exploiters, the Voyeurs, those seeking “Entertainment” (as at a train wreck, a public hanging, or a bloodsport), the confusion.

But we angels saw it all a bit differently. We don’t see all the “bells and whistles”, the “flash and sparkle”. I cannot speak to what others saw, but what *I* saw, with intense clarity, was an astonishing sequence of “choices” made by just a handful of “principal actors”, whose decision sequence summarized what happened throughout the region in those hours.

The Actors?

  • The Master
  • Judas
  • Peter
  • The Disciples/Friends
  • Pontius Pilate
  • The Crowds

I will not go through all of that here right now. The “feelings” are yet too fresh and even (odd to say) “painful”. I’ll get more detail down in entries to follow. But all these entered into a series of “Choice Chains”, sequences of decisions where they could follow their conscience (embrace His Majesty and His will), or they could yield to temptation of fear, pride, or avarice (repel Him).

Judas… his “choice chain” is so short and clear. He is likely to be vilified and condemned for millennia as they iconic “betrayer”. And yes, indeed he was… but look at him, his concerns, his decisions and choices, up alongside Peter… and there are just a couple critical places where they are distinguished.

Anyway, enough for now. More entries later. We yet wait and see what will unfold. At this moment, nearly all are consumed with despair and disappointment. The story seems ended… ended behind a huge stone in a hole in a cliff… and the great Kingdom Story wasn’t supposed to end like this!

More to come…

Journal Entry by — Makarion Nous, Angel 3rd Class, General Duties

Not Just the Hands and Feet — It’s the Eyes!

earth beautifulHere we are in Lent. That’s a different thing for everyone. “Seasons”, Liturgical Seasons, are wondrous times, opportunities for the Holy Spirit to focus our interior eyes on a particular aspect of grace and our relationship with God. Such seasons as Lent, or Easter, or Advent, or Christmas, or the Pentecost… all allow us to concentrate our gaze on some facet of this “Crystal Rose” in our Garden of Prayer, the King of Kings. Generally speaking, the Lenten Season is somber, reserved, reflective, looking forward through the great trials and sufferings of Christ approaching the Crucifixion, as He draws to His climax in Jerusalem and the Cross.

What should Lent be like? Well, if the rhythm of this season resonates, the experience should be whatever the Holy Spirit calls for it to be for you in your own unique journey with Christ. For some, it is a time of recollection of our own need for grace; reminder of our frailty and fallenness, sense of responsibility for our wrong decisions, and awesome wonder at all the pain heaped upon our dear Lord in our place, in payment for our own regrettable actions and decisions. For others, it may be an intense awareness of Jesus’ passion, of His strength, courage, determination to do the will of the Father no matter the personal cost. Lent may generate the intense response of admiration and worship for so noble a Lord who struggled and overcame so much to honor the will of God.

There is no “right” way to experience Lent, and no “wrong” way, as long as the Holy Spirit is given free rein to prepare straight paths for the renewal of the Truth of the Resurrection, and the glory of Jesus’ triumph over Death itself on Easter. Traditions, customs, denominations, cultures, and eras are incredibly diverse in their observation of the Lenten Season. Across my own life, the experience has been tremendously different from one year to the next, one decade to the next.

So let me invite you, let me encourage you, to make way for the Holy Spirit to use this season to bless you. Let me invite you to enter into the Scriptural experience of these days approaching Easter, making straight paths for the Holy Spirit to show you whatever nurtures your relationship and awareness of the immediate and intimate presence of Christ in your life and spirit. Your experience doesn’t have to “look like” that of anyone else, as long as the focus is on Jesus the Christ, and the scriptural elements that so richly fill these days and these pages.

This one thing I would note in addition.

That there is no meaning to Lent, no meaning to the suffering, no meaning to even the “forgiveness of sin”, or the “payment for sin”, or the “satisfaction of God’s justice”, or even the “extension of grace and mercy to man”… if those are seen as merely “functions”. If those are seen as “things God did” or “things God does”… When we see these things as simple “extensions of God’s methodology”, we miss the point entirely.

All these things… ALL that we see of grace, of God’s workings…. is direct expression of His Infinite Love and nothing less.

Embrace the awareness, the sorrow, the contrition of knowing He took our own just punishment for our own willful and willing sin… yes. Don’t reject or resist that, if that is what the Spirit leads. Embrace the awareness of His suffering, His pain, His humility and obedience, His submissiveness to His destiny and the Father’s will, in the blood and the nails… yes. Don’t reject or resist that movement of your heart into His on the Cross, if that is what the Spirit leads. But in all of that, just don’t get so fixated on the blood, the scourge, the thorns, and the nails… that we neglect to look at His face, His eyes. They radiate with the reason for it all… His Infinite Love, Our Father’s Infinite Love, the Spirit’s Infinite love… for you, personally, individually… and every other child He has fashioned as well.

Let us not gaze upon the mysteries of Lent, these incredible 40 days, or Passion Week with its horrors, spectating like onlookers at the scene of a great train wreck. If we fixate, fascinated on the scourge, the thorns, the nails, and the blood, and we miss the wondrous theme playing just below that surface… we simply witness a deep drama of horror and cruelty.

Even in grief, we want to remember that undergirding all this… is unspeakable Infinite Love. That’s what all of this is about. This is the act, prepared before the foundations of the cosmos, that embraces all of creation in the arms of Infinite Love… by the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Amazing, isn’t it? Amen.

Kitchen Table Conversation — In Re: Roman Goddess Iusticia et al. versus God, Our Father Almighty

Alien Invasion Fears Replaced by
Concern Over Mysterious Celestial Lights

Worldwide Press – 1 February – Everywhere, Earth

Jurists and tourists the world over were astonished to see countless statues and monuments step down from their plinths and ascend radiant golden stairways that mystically appeared before them outside museums, government buildings, and courthouses this morning. An unprecedented broadcast began – source undetermined – following the progress of an extraordinary legal case, apparently proceeding beyond the venue of any earthly jurisdiction. The broadcast is accessible just beyond the cable capacity of all networks, nonetheless appearing on any device or screen whose viewer seeks to find it.

The evening news broadcast began thus:

Petition was filed in Celestial Court last week, by Plaintiff Goddesses Iusticia, Themis, Dike, Isis, and Maat, (hereinafter referred to as “Plaintiffs Justice”) alleging that Yahweh, the Father God Almighty (hereinafter referred to as “Respondent God”) was not consistently “Just” nor in keeping with “Law and Order”.

The crux of their claim is that, “Respondent God, with total awareness and forethought, does not uphold the Cosmos with ‘Justice’.” They indicated that the fundamental principles of justice must incorporate their blindness as to parties, their scales and balance as to magnitude of offense, consequence or recompense, and their sword as to ruthless determination to execute judgment upon the guilty.

More details as they become available. . .

Plaintiffs Rest After Five Days of Witnesses and Evidence
Respondent’s Defense Eagerly Awaited Tomorrow

Worldwide Press – 8 February – Everywhere, Earth

Plaintiff Counsel, Lucifer Lightbringer, held rapt attention as he laid out the Petitioners’ case, calling witness after witness, and supporting his arguments with Respondent God’s own internal and public documentation.

Among witnesses called were:

  • Three workmen who were hired at different times of day – in hot, sweaty circumstances – to clear the Respondent’s fields, and yet were compensated with precisely the same wage. (Note: Counselor Lightbringer offered to file suit for inadequate compensation and creating an unfair workplace, on behalf of the first and second laborers, when the current trial finishes.)
  • Ninety-nine sheep, who claimed abandonment against the Respondent’s Shepherd, for leaving them very much in the lurch to go searching for one single lamb who refused to keep with the group as instructed.
  • Various and sundry owners of grain fields and grape vineyards, who were forbidden to harvest the full measure of their own produce, despite their investment in seed, care, pesticides, and other maintenance necessities, so that shiftless vagrants such as widows, orphans, or illegal immigrants could freeload from their largesse.
  • Various major contributors to worthy community and religious causes and charities, who were shown up and insulted by unflattering comparison to a poverty-stricken old hag whose entire contribution consisted of a single copper!
  • A number of prestigious religious leaders who, although they had endeavored to keep their actions always within the bounds of law and order, found themselves called such names as “white washed tombs” and “brood of vipers”. “Imagine!” Plaintiff’s Counsel dramatically paused, “simply for heeding the Law.”

Lightbringer’s voice rose in volume and pitch as he approached the end of his closing arguments, pointed an immaculately manicured bony finger directly at the Respondent, and demanded in stentorian tones, “Do You deny, Sire, that You ‘make it rain on the just and the unjust alike?'” as he paused for dramatic effect.

No one had dared to “swear in” Respondent God as to telling “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” That was taken as a given. You could hear a pin drop in the courtroom, every breath and word hushed, as majestically He rose and said,

“I do not deny this.”

After which with a theatrical flourish, Counsel responded, “From His own mouth! Ladies, gentlemen, and Cosmos, what further proof is needed? The Plaintiffs rest our case!” And he sat, as court was adjourned for the day.

Text of One Typical Evening News Cast:

“Government and academic officials are stymied to explain the nature of the ongoing broadcasts from the alleged ‘Celestial Court’. All attempts to track the signal to its source have been unsuccessful, as each satellite in geosynchronous orbit receive this full strength broadcast, regardless of position, location, altitude or nationality of the satellite. Of further interest is that there is no consensus on what language is being spoken throughout the proceedings. Without the apparent presence of any microphones, headsets, or translators, reports indicate that every person on earth is hearing every broadcast in his/her own language. Technology experts and various well-known commercial interests have convened emergency conferences, brain trusts, and activated think tanks to analyze the nature of these phenomena, and attempt to reverse engineer the means of these broadcasts. Patent attorneys for the 10 largest communication and computing firms, have already begun preparation of documents to exert exclusive ownership rights over any discoveries made.

“On a totally unrelated note, correspondents in Vatican City, Mecca, Canterbury, along with religious centers all over the globe, have been unavailable for comment, as have Justices of the United States Supreme Court, the World Court at the Hague, and the United Nations. This, of itself, has prompted speculation of some sort of divine or metaphysical manifestation, as these parties have never before been notable for their silence or absence from press coverage and photo opportunities. Official sources have announced that they are sequestered in “prayer, reflection, and consultation”, but rumors persist that they may have retreated to deep mountain nuclear redoubts left over from the Cold War, consulting with military and political leaders on potential strategies in the event of unscheduled End Times or Armageddon. Government officials deny any such reports.

“Viewers the world over await tomorrow’s developments with great interest. Respondent God is on the docket to testify on His own behalf. He is the only witness scheduled for the defense.”

Mysterious Ending(?) to Untraceable Court Case
Panic Averted as Art Works Return Home

Worldwide Press – 9 February – Everywhere, Earth

Activity seemed to come to a standstill today, when Goddess Iusticia, et. al., vs. God, Our Father Almighty came to an abrupt, totally unexpected, end. After the brilliant presentation on behalf of the plaintiff goddesses by their advocate and accuser, Counsel Lucifer Lightbringer across five days of testimony and documentary presentation, the petitioner’s case was rested. Everyone expected an equally brilliant and protracted defense from the opposition, as the Advocate Jesus (also known as “The Mighty Counselor”) rose to make His statement to those attending, and introduced His One and Only witness, His Father, the Almighty.

“Ladies and gentlemen, and all of Creation, My honorable opponent has spoken passionately and researched diligently to present his case for the petitioner’s, accusing Respondent God of being, in short, ‘Unfair!’ You may ask yourself why, given the exalted rank and undeniable authority of this Respondent… how is it even conceivable that such a cause of action, to take God Almighty to task as being unjust… has been tolerated? Nay, even embraced, by His Divine Majesty? The answer is quite simple.

“My Client, in this case, Our Father, seeks to set the record straight once and for all. Day after day, night after night, we receive and absorb the prayers and tears of precious children asking over and over again… “Why me, Lord?”… “Why this?” … “Why now?”… “This is NOT FAIR!”

“And, even though Our Father has manifested the fullness of His nature in many ways, through Creation, through Me, through the Spirit Indwelling, through Scripture, and countless times through the words and teachings of those with ears and eyes for Him… nonetheless, well-meaning, good-hearted, trusting-spirited children harbor the terrible suspicion that Our Father’s conception of ‘justice’ is heartless and mechanical, and His exercise of grace and mercy are capricious and arbitrary. This day, in this place, through the unwitting and unwilling cooperation of the plaintiffs’ advocate, Counselor Lucifer Lightbringer, we endeavor to bring light into darkness again, and help people understand… Divine Justice.

“Ladies, gentlemen, and all of Creation… I present to you, His Divine Majesty, Our Father, God Alone…” and the Mighty Counselor bowed as He made way for the “I AM”, the Tetragrammaton, the Divine and Holy One, to cross the court, mount the step to the witness chair, and stand a moment before all assembled.

“I appreciate,” He began, “that no one has asked about this as I approached, but let Me assure all assembled and witnessing… I speak only TRUTH, here now, in the past, throughout the future, for that is all that I CAN speak. That is, in fact, a major reason for this gathering.

“I have only three things to say here, and then I shall let every being decide for him or herself how they choose to exercise judgment over these proceedings.


“Counselor Lightbringer, again you have done a masterful job of quoting true facts, to bring about an utterly false picture of Reality. Herein lies your magnificent talent as the Father of Lies, and you’ve not lost a jot of skill across the centuries. Ladies of Justice, while you filed this suit under the titles ‘Goddesses of Justice’, I must point out that you are indeed NOT goddesses. You are, as one recent author put it, “anthropomorphic personifications”. That is, you are crafted and created not only by the HANDS of man, but by his mind as well. I do not say this to insult your ancestry, but merely to recognize it. Worshiped you may be, as man mistakes your principles of fairness, blindness, and ruthlessness as being divine… but those qualities have nothing to do with Me, never have, and never will.


“Yes, I made a covenant with man, to be his God and he My people. In this, we vowed together and I gave man My Law under that original covenant. The Law, the Old Testament Law, the Covenant Law, was developed in a particular time and context, with a particular people, with very specific requirements. The practice of The Law seemed to take on a life of its own, as people became obsessed with its punctilious execution. As man so often does, they stared at it so closely, wrote about it so intently, even adding flourishes and swashes seeking to improve upon it, that astonishingly… they seldom see the point of the Law at all. Throughout its entirety, from the initial commandments to the narrowest requirement of worship, the Law addresses one thing and teaches a single lesson.

“The Law is intended to teach man how to deal with ‘the sacred’. The Law reflects My heart in its fullness and entirety. The Law is a revelation of My own caring for man and for Creation, and, when followed, shows man how to treat all of Creation, himself, others, and Me… as sacred as well. My Law, to be bound on the head and graven in the heart, is not simply a static list of requirements for behavior, worship, sacrifice, and sharing. Over and over again, the Law requires the giving of care, of time, of resources… from those blessed with much, to those blessed with need. The Law specifies how to deal with Me sacredly, how to deal with one another sacredly, how to deal with oneself sacredly, and even… how to deal with goods and lands sacredly. Why? Because all these are gift from Me, sacred gifts, to be treasured and enjoyed, and handled as sacred. The Law taught Sacred Relationship, as I gave and give Law. There was mercy and compassion, grace and love, throughout the Law. But man seldom sees this.

Third (and last)

“Let us dispose of ‘the Fallacy of the Fair’. I am accused of being ‘unfair’,” as the Witness shook His head. “That is true. I am NOT fair. Love isn’t fair, love gives of the self beyond measure or reason. Kindness isn’t fair; kindness gives as there is need, not as it is deserved. Grace isn’t fair; My Innocent Son took the crimes, the blame, the condemnation, and the punishment… for those ‘justly worthy’ of facing their own consequences.

“Why? Because of His love for you, and because of My own.


To Conclude Then:

“One last thing, for those who have struggled to reconcile the God of Grace with this God of Justice… I’ve been asked, countless times, by some who have seen this… the ‘unfairness’ of grace, and struggled with My Justice as God… I’ve been asked, ‘Why?’

“‘Why did Jesus have to suffer so? Why did He have to die? Why did He have to go through all that? Why not just say, ‘OK, all is forgiven and good,’ without that price of death having to be paid?’ Well, here is the short answer for those who can understand…

“Once death entered existence by man’s exercise of will in the Garden, all was set askew. All of Creation was ’tilted’, ‘canted’, ‘off-kilter’. All of Creation exists by and through My Word(s). For Me, to ‘speak’ is to ‘create’, to ‘make’, to ‘declare Real’. In the Garden, I said if that tree was eaten from, death would result. And it did. My Word cannot be undone. All of My Words must be True. For ANY word of Mine to prove false, the very foundations of the Cosmos would unravel. If you cannot believe ALL of someone’s words, then you cannot ever know which one(s) are false.

“Jesus fulfilled not only the Old Testament Covenant Law, but also the words spoken to Adam regarding sin and death. Only Jesus, as fullness of humanity and fullness of divinity, could possibly have done this. But in His taking on Himself all the consequence of all law, He satisfied, fulfilled, and completed all unfinished business. Doing this, He set free all My other children from debt and obligation.

“Jesus did what He did, to keep My words True, so that all my words, and all Our grace and blessing, are intact in Our love for Our children.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“Now, to all who have followed these proceedings:

“You are the jury. It is you who must ponder, pray, think and decide whom you believe, whom you have faith in, and whom you trust. Make no mistake, it is not ‘what’… as if Justice and Grace were ‘things’, ‘objects’, or ‘doctrines’. The question is never “What?”, but “Who?”

“Decide now. Decide for yourselves. To live a life worshiping man-crafted idols of Justice, Law, Lists, and Codes… Or see beyond all that, see in a new way, hear and study My Word(s), and receive Our embrace of self-sacrificing love here in Jesus’ divine hands and heart. It is all up to you.”

Forgiveness – God Broke My Abacus

Matthew 18:21-22     New American Standard Bible (NASB)


21 Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus *said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.


[But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.”] In Context | Full Chapter | Other Translations

Once upon a time, I used to get ticked off when someone stole from me, accused me of something I didn’t do, lied about me, lied to me, broke a promise to me… etc. etc.

Then… *sigh*… God would prompt, and I would have to “forgive” them.

That is, I’d have to refrain from hitting them, cussing them out, telling everyone I knew what a worthless piece of trash they were… etc., etc.

Then… *sigh*… God prompted further, saying that wasn’t enough. I was constraining my “reaction” to their offense, but I still held that “score point” in my heart. I knew, deep in my heart, that they “owed me”! And one day, whether here or in the hereafter, I expected them or God to “make good” on the I.O.U.

That is, I had to “forgive them from my HEART”… I had to stop clinging to that precious I.O.U. I had to take my spirit strong box of stored up I.O.U’s and chits that I had so carefully preserved across the years, and burn the lot of them. That strong box and its contents were “binding” my own offenses in the memory of Our Father.

Well… drat! I really LIKED my strong box and my collection. I’d worked really hard across the years to make sure my “intake” was vastly greater on those I.O.U’s than my “output”. And now… I had to burn them! Drat!

Then… *sigh*… God prompted further, saying that wasn’t enough. I had to throw away the strong box, and “learn to burn” the chit, the I.O.U., the very next moment after it was written. I could “feel” the offense, and “flare” with my reaction of indignation… but then I had (as instantly as possible)… to release it, and let the moment float off into the Cosmos, restoring the relationship as quickly and totally as possible. Drat!

So, across the years, my “adrenalin fix” reduced. My righteous indignation quotient lessened, and somehow… right about here…. Jesus was finally able to make Himself “utterly heard” in my heart with “Love others as I love… and, by the way, what did *I* forgive… how much, how many, how completely?” Drat!

And then one day, unexpectedly, I awoke in the early morning hours inside the body of Jesus as He hung on the cross, just minutes from expiration. As I struggled to breathe, I felt Him… from the inside. Alongside the (fairly) obvious discomfort, the struggle just to take in air, breath by shuddering breath, I remember looking up… looking out… at the crowd… jeering, mocking, spitting, waving fists and sandals, some (very few) weeping… and I remember suddenly feeling a rush of love, of concern, of protection FOR them… as a parent feels for their baby child. I remember the words parting His cracked lips… “Father, forgive them! They don’t know… they don’t know what they do.” And then, a brief time later, “It is finished!” And there was no more struggling for breath.

There are no words, Gentle Reader… no words at all for the condition in which I returned to my own easy breathing, my own ability to sit upright and see my own room, that morning. But beyond all that…

God Broke My Abacus!

Finally, totally and completely, beyond all words and meaning, my heart was now permanently emblazoned with…

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” [1 Corinthians 13:4-7]

From that morning to this, um… I seldom even notice “offense”, and it’s almost a joke with those among whom I walk that to “offend” me you really have to be trying. Further… I am SO TOTALLY aware, that not only am I NOT the Holy Spirit (so far above my pay grade…), I am not and cannot play the role of anyone else’s conscience… (I would so totally mess up the job)… that I “discuss the sins of other specific people” only with THAT person, and only when THEY ask me something about “life, the universe, and everything”.

“Why?” you may ask… “How?”… “What in the world entices anyone to discuss their sin or discomforts of conscience with you?”

It’s a secret. A secret Jesus taught me. You just “love them as if they weren’t sinning”. You love that person as if they were sacred, special, and beloved. You love them as if you had respect and regard FOR them. In fact, you treat them as “holy”, as if they were the very person Jesus came for… lived for… died for… rose for…

Love people as if they COULD NOT offend you, because their sins were forgiven by the power of Jesus’ words to the Father AT the Cross…

Do that, and  you know what happens?

You don’t have to keep counting anymore. You don’t have to count up to 490… anticipating that, “By gum, when they get to 491.. ‘WHAM!’ are they gonna get it!”

You don’t have to keep score, collect chits, box up treasures that bind and chain you…

You set them free. You set the Holy Spirit free. You don’t have to “forgive” nearly so often, because you don’t get wounded and hurt in the first place.

Oh… and you set yourself free to be forgiven by Our Father as well!

Yup, I’ve never missed my Abacus!

Grace to you!

The Little Monk

A Moment of Worship

This song came across my worship time this morning, and captured me. I looked it up, and have been captivated by it. I’ve repeated it many times, as it has aided my prayer.

Thought I’d share it for your joy… Don’t even watch the video… just close your eyes and let the music do what music does.  It may not affect others as it has me, but grace to you nonetheless…

The Lyric? “By your cross and passion, you free us O Lord. Lord…”

Would we dare?

The Omega

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” [Hebrews 12:1-2]

The Alpha

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Never, before today, have I thought of Christmas in terms of “shame”. Of Mary’s shame of conceiving out of wedlock, Joseph’s shame to wed a pregnant bride, their family shame to bear their son in a cast off stable, to bed Him in a feed trough…

And what of Jesus Himself? Who can even begin to conceive of the contrast between His glorious throne, and swaddling clothes, nappies, and nipples?

And yet… and yet… He EMBRACED that! ALL of them did! Who can imagine such a thing? Mary dared deadly shame to say “yes” to the Angel Gabriel. Joseph dared to trust Mary when she told him of Jesus’ conception.

And Jesus? Jesus willingly embraced His humanity, placing Himself in the care of this incredible couple. He embraced the shame. He accepted His own weakness, helplessness, dependency.

Doing so… as a puny little infant… His very presence terrified a king, prompting the slaughter of countless boys. His presence inspired other kings, who paid Him homage and presented Him gifts. His danger, and the warning of an angel, uprooted His family to an alien country to preserve His life. Did they travel in secret? Like people ashamed? Traveling by little known routes, not to be seen, moving by night, resting and hiding by day?

How strange does this all seem for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords?

Did they despise the shame? Yet did they all embrace it, for the love of God and those He came to save? Did they love us? Somehow know that somewhere, sometime, you and I would be sitting here praising God for all this?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

All this… all this shame… they took on and embraced, that WE might come to be freed of OUR shame! That our own shames, guilts, sins, be remembered no more. That we stand clean and clear, robed in the righteousness of Christ before the Holy Throne of the Father!

What about us? That’s the question that came to me this morning. That’s the question the Lord confronted me with this morning.

Does “shame”, a concern about what other people will think of me, ever prevent me from doing the right thing, a righteous thing, an action of grace?

It has, Gentle Reader. I must be honest. There are times I have refrained from doing “the right thing”, because it would embarrass me. You too?   * head nods here *   Well, our human frailty gets us all sometimes.

But just let me encourage you, Gentle Reader. Let me ask you to encourage me as well, from time to time. Acts of grace, of compassion, of gentleness… should never be constrained by “how it looks” to others, or whether we will “lose status” by embracing the shame. Do the right, the gentle, the loving… and let onlookers sort themselves out before the Throne.

Jesus’ earthly life began embracing shame. His earthly life ended the same way. But throughout… He is, was, and ever shall be… King of Kings, Lord of Lords…

“Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” [Philippians 2:8-11]