FROM THE MAIL !
A CONTAINER OF GOD'S PRESENCE
One of my favorite parts of the day is when I come in from my early morning walk and have a cup of freshly brewed, steaming hot coffee. On cold winter days, I especially like the feel of my favorite coffee mug in my hands and I thoroughly enjoy the sips of liquid that bring welcomed warmth into my body.
My coffee mug reminds me that cups are containers designed to hold something refreshing, just as we are containers meant to hold the Divine Presence. Because God dwells within me, I like to think of myself as a mini Ark of the Covenant. God goes with me wherever I go. I carry God into each relationship and experience. A powerful thought, that one.
Our understanding and our experience of God shapes our image of God and our spirituality. Who is God? Where do we find this God of ours? If we look at the Hebrew scriptures we will find that the Divine Presence is everywhere, always moving and always calling to people wherever they may be. If we look at the Christian scriptures, we find a significant addition: this Divine Presence has made a home in us. Jesus said, "Make your home in me" (John 15:4). He used the image of the vine and the branches to emphasize that the same life that surges through all parts of the plant is similar to the life of God that surges through our being. God is no longer just "out there." God is also here, within us. The spirit of Jesus lives on in our own bodily temples. We have become the home of God.
Some days I go zooming along, checking off all the "stuff" I have on my "to do" list, and I totally forget that I am the home of God. When this happens I can easily lose my reverence and my awareness of all the beauty around me. On the other hand, when I remember that God has made a home in my heart and in the heart of each one I meet, I look at people and life quite differently. I am more patient, kind, and much less judgmental.
I tell myself as I move through the day, "brush off the old dust and cobwebs caused by busyness and non-attention and become aware of how God travels with you.
"Abide in me as I abide in you." (John 15:4).
"Do you know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?" (1 Cor. 3:16).
With all my love and respect for you, Father,
I remain yours in the Lord,
Aug 8, 2003