Are you the one?

It is pretty damp and dank in the cellar [The cellar–close your door and go into your cellar when you pray.] this morning. We are in the midst of three days of much needed rain. I usually think of rain as something bad whereas sunshiny days are something good. Rain is not negative. It is a positive life force. Water is the sign of divine healing and Abba God is healing our severe drought. Praise the rain and the life that comes from it. Praise the creator who brings it to nourish and sustain us.
It is the second Thursday in Advent and John the Baptizer’s disciples come to Jesus with the question, “Are you the one who is to come should we look for another?”
Thomas Keating says that John has a double bind. John has seen Jesus in action and now that he is imprisoned, he begins to wonder whether Jesus is really the Messiah. He has sent his disciples to Jesus to ask him this question. Jesus’ response is to tell John’s disciples to look around. What do they see? Jesus then proceeds to use the quotation from Isaiah which describes his mission. Look at what I am doing. The blind see. The lame walk. The deaf hear. The anawim, the little ones, have the good news preached to them. This is the same quote from Isaiah that Luke puts on the lips of Jesus in the synagogue. In modern parlance this is Jesus’ mission statement. Jesus has come to alleviate human misery. Jesus has not come for the rich and the powerful. He has come to those who need him. He comes to the little ones, the least among us.
In these verses, Matthew tells us that the violent have been dominating and taking over the kingdom. The Inclusive translation refers to the violent as the powerful. How true this is. Since Constantine in 313, the violent and the powerful have co-opted the reign of God. Jesus is here reminding us that he is not powerful and violent. Maybe this is why John did not quite understand what Jesus was about. I can imagine John, like some modern righteous person, preaching judgment, condemnation, hell fire and damnation. This is not what Jesus was about. Jesus did not come to atone to a Father God for our sins. Rather he came to reveal Abba God—the merciful God. This is a God who is the deepest reality within us. This is a God who dwells in the depths of our being. This is a God who loves us unconditionally because, no matter what we do, there is still deep down within us the spark of divinity. Merton says that we sink into our own depths, into our own nothingness and come out the other side in the Void of divine love. This is not about power and domination. This is about true humility. We recognize our own emptiness, our own nothingness. Then, we realize that the void of our nothingness is filled with the love of Abba God. The Creator [d]wells within us and loves us into existence as the Creator flashes forth renewing us and the face of the earth.
Today, we see a whole lot of confusion over who Jesus is. Many in the church think the Jesus reveals the face of the vengeful God who demanded his sacrifice on the cross. This is not who Jesus is or what Jesus is about. What God would demand the sacrifice of the dearly beloved son? This certainly is not our God. Jesus reveals a merciful God who always loves us into existence.
Relax. Breathe deeply. Go deep within. Bathe in the divine presence that fills the void of your nothingness with the warmth and fire divine love. Know that you are loved. Enjoy it. Dwell in it. Be one with the Creator who loves you into life.

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