19 June 2011

Beautiful Bride

In my last couple of posts, I have engaged a few of the materials which I am joyfully devouring over my summer break.  As a seminary student, I often have several books strewn about the coffee table and a few more on my nightstand, and a couple in each of my backpacks.  My mind darts about between the piles of books while each term continues, and I begin to compile a running list of topics that I want to bring into my final paper for each course.  So, during the summer I usually have several books that I am scanning, a little at a time, as my mind settles into a more relaxed groove.  This evening I dive into another book that has fallen open from my shelves.

My mind is being stimulated by Peter's Heitt's Dance Lessons for Zombies.  In the preface he notes that the only zombies he sees in Scripture are the religious folk who strive to fill themselves with goodness without relying on the Savior.  They have an insatiable appetite for getting things right, and are driven by a hunger for purity rather than a deep desire to be in relationship with the Lord.  Hiett reminds us that it would be more accurate to use the first person plural to describe these religious folk.  Like the religious leaders in Jesus' time, we often have difficulty understanding what it means to be in the arms of our Beloved.
"Zombie Bride" - Photo by Matt & Trista Wynne

In my prayer blog, I have been slowly uncovering the intricacies that relationship with the One called Beloved entail with the individual.  Here in this blog I hope to approach this relationship through the communal lens at least as often as the individual one.  What does it mean that we, together, become the bride of Christ?  The worldwide Church is in the process of being adorned with jewels and is being prepared for our Great Beloved. 

Sometimes we forget that the preparations are happening through the delicate workings of the Holy Spirit, not through our own hands.  During these times we misdirect the hunger that we feel for our Beloved's touch, and we turn on one another, often devouring each other before we know what we've done.  How often Sophia-Spirit has to bring in a warm, moist cloth and wipe the blood from our faces!  She has an incredible amount of patience with this impatient, self-indulgent bride we call the Church.

How much better it would be if, like Mary at Jesus' feet, we simply relaxed and allowed ourselves to be in the presence of our Beloved!  What might the Church look like if we trusted that we have been created for our Beloved's good pleasure?  How might we interact with one another and with the world if we truly knew how much our Beloved delights in us?

Dear ones, we truly do exist for the Beloved's pleasure!  When Sophia-Spirit adorns us with the jewels and fruit of Herself, we, through our united existence in the world, reflect the love and light of our Beloved to all the corners of the earth.  May the Spirit of Life flow through us and help us to resolve our conflicts so that those who look to us will be able to see the reflection of the Beloved in the mirror of our jewelry!  In Jesus' name, amen.

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