Writing’s on the Wall the Oscar Winning Song and its message

Whose the greatest of all?

Sam Smith “Writing’s On The Wall” lyrics

[Sam]
I’ve been here before
But always hit the floor
I’ve spent a lifetime running
And I always get away
But with you I’m feeling something
That makes me want to stay

I’m prepared for this
I never shoot to miss
But I feel like a storm is coming
If I’m gonna make it through the day
Then there’s no more use in running
This is something I gotta face

If I risk it all
Could you break my fall?


How do I live? How do I breathe?
When you’re not here I’m suffocating
I want to feel love, run through my blood
Tell me is this where I give it all up?
For you I have to risk it all
Cause the writing’s on the wall

A million shards of glass
That haunt me from my past
As the stars begin to gather
And the light begins to fade
When all hope begins to shatter
Know that I won’t be afraid

If I risk it all
Could you break my fall?

How do I live? How do I breathe?
When you’re not here I’m suffocating
I want to feel love, run through my blood
Tell me is this where I give it all up?
For you I have to risk it all
Cause the writing’s on the wall

The writing’s on the wall

How do I live? How do I breathe?
When you’re not here I’m suffocating
I want to feel love, run through my blood
Tell me is this where I give it all up?
How do I live? How do I breathe?
When you’re not here I’m suffocating
I want to feel love, run through my blood
Tell me is this where I give it all up?
For you I have to risk it all
Cause the writing’s on the wall

 

“Risking it all takes great courage, and compassion and creates new vistas and ventures of transformational grace and gratitude.”

With Love and Peace to all, In Jesus name

The Gospel of Covenant of Love and Peace: A blog from Sept 11, 2015

9/11 “With Malice Toward None and Charity Toward All” let us bind up our wounds

Posted by Don Paine

I was on my way to meet a friend who had stuck with me in a supportive way during the last many months of my personable “funk”.  I was very early and was reminiscing of days long passed when I spoke at the SUNY Campus at a Campus Ministry Meeting.  As I passed the Interfaith Chapel that was not even there those many years ago.  I noticed that the American Red Cross that is everywhere there is a disaster was holding a blood drive.  I figured I could give blood and still make my lunch meeting which was at his office and I was bringing a homemade Tuna, Apple, Cran-raisins,  Pasta, and Dill salad.

I met a few muslims who were there and who had t shirts that said:  “Love for all, Hatred for none” as a them for the American Red Cross asking people to put all differences aside and give blood which we all have and we call can give rather than in bloodshed and violence spilling blood.

I spoke at length to two of the leaders of the Muslim (from Pakistan) group who were trying to change the opinion of many based on the radical and fanatic contingency.  I commented that CHristianity had to distance themselves and even today distance ourselves from the more fanatical and exclusive branch that can over shadow true Christianity.  They commented I was the first Christian to be honest about that bing in our history.  I asked them if they wanted to know a little more American History and told them in case they did not guess I was a kind of history buff!

I proceeded, with their interest growing as I told the following story (it was not 100 % correct but mostly correct and I give it here as I gave it to them without correcting dates etc with more exactness as it was a bout connectivity nor correctness.

In Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address on March 5, 1865, following the hurt and pain of bloodshed on all sides of the civil war, and weeks before he was assassinated on the night that three assassination plots were simultaneously attempted but only one succeeded, and on the heals of the need for healing at all levels and in all sates of the still divided union as war never settles things, Abraham Lincoln the 16th president of the USA stead in his speech the following phrase: “With malice toward none, and Charity toward all” let us bind up our wounds and heal our land.  So similar to “Love toward all, hatred toward none”.

They looked shocked.  I am not sure if they were shocked by the symmetry and the parallelism or shocked they coincidentally ran into someone who could tell them that.  They did say they would be giving this report to their leadership team in NYC and they may want to talk to me.  I gave them a business card and by then was ready to give blood which I did.

You guessed it, I missed lunch with my good friend but I did drop lunch off for him and with his secretaries helped put it in his refrigerator for later. We will reschedule for a later time.  He is a good friend and understanding, does not get angry or annoyed, when this things happen which is why he is a “good” friend.

Working Together, A vision of We R 1

What will it take? To live as one

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today…
Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace…
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world…
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

 

So are you with me at least a part of you.  The UCC in CT, MA, AND RI  are attempting to come together as one.

https://www.research.net/r/RIMACT

Imagine if instead of working independently and in isolation we came together as one. Imagine if the Gospel of Jesus was defined as a Gospel of Inclusion, Extravagant Welcome, Love and Peace, of Community of Faith, and of Freedom and Justice for all.  Would revival come to our churches and to the Northeast? Would a 21st Century wave like the Haystack Revivals but different or a 21st Century version of Jonathan Edwards, but different, emerge?

Imagine.

RIMACT maybe the first step.

Working as one, Imagine

That they might be one becomes Celebrating that We R 1

Do you recall R2D2?  Imagine if he were real.  We are seeing robots at his level everywhere but how about humans.  What if they became know as “R1” or more particularly if Christians instead of being egoistic, egotistic, elitist, and arrogant about their way being the only way or the right way.  What if the way of Jesus which was the way of humility not arrogance, the way of embracing “the needs of the many over the needs of the one” anything not egoistic, the way of celebrating that if another group is not against the way we believe they are considered a part of us not egotistical, and the way of inclusion of the leper the sinner the zealous as all having one error that of not loving others and not being at peace, not exclusion, and the way of honoring the diversity of his father’s creation and inviting all into communion with God not an elitist club.

John Lennon who many Christians would hammer for not being Christian and would attack his song, “Imagine” demonstrate more of what Jesus was not than who Jesus is and who He desires the church to be.  Please instead of reacting think about this for a few meditative moments.

The UCC of which I am a part, and proud of.  Within the UCC, I consider myself an Evangelical Christian and will not be ashamed of Jesus nor rewrite the Gospel.  At eh same time the Jesus Gospel is a Gospel of Inclusion, Humility, Openness, extravagant loving and that the UCC embraces.  That is the Gospel of Jesus.  The Gospel of Jesus is not self serving, self-declaring, self-absorbed with bing right in theology or church polity or the lack of it.  Where has evangelical christianity gone.  They have been swept away by the tides of selfism’s rather than remaining strong minded and deep rooted in faith in Jesus.

 

Here are John Lennon’s words:

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today…
Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace…
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world…
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

 

Do You see it. Please get parts to step aside and see what I see in this song:

A vision like Jesus.  Distorted by the judging masses of Christians that make a man prefer to see no heaven if your heaven is all there is and no hell if hell is used to bully people into a false heaven.

Imagine seeing clearly that there are no religions just a relationship with God, their are no feuding races, ethnic groups or nations, people living as one.  Sounds a little bit like the new heaven and earth.  The brotherhood and sisterhood of humanity sharing all the world and the resources of the world and caring for those resources together as one.  People living in peace and loving people, no hunger, no poverty, no loss, no suffering alone.

So will you join a movement that has a goal of this reality, being one.  Imagining it. Having a Gospel of Covenant that promotes this.  That is the UCC.  Please check tomorrows blog and also reread Galatians s the epistle in which Paul is tempted to change the gospel to an exclusive club but refuses.

 

In the Beginning there was that which then, now and ever shall be

Peace and Love are Core Characteristics of God

So if you can imaging with me a World in which all there, was, is and ever shall be was peace and tranquility, and love and kindness that would be the World of God.

So it might clearly follow in a theological sense that is this is the essence of God, and it is what we are all destined to return to for God is love and peace, then it would also follow that the way to know God as a created being is the “Way of Love and Peace”.  All ethics and justice are then measured according to the scale of equity and the experience of love and peace internally, and the evaluation of expressing love and peace to all people of earth regardless of anything.

So the evidence of the way of Jesus who was the one who as an expression of love laid down his life for his friends/all people and who remained a peace in his innermost parts, a peace that we look at and judge as surpassing human understanding,  The the freedom or liberty that God gifted humanity would allow for humanity to choose the way of monitoring and maintaining their inner peace, not desiring to gain power or dominance over another, and expressing love and kindness to all people of earth created by God for love and in peace. Justice flows automatically from the place of peace and love.

So heaven will be filled with peace and love and nothing else at all for as “it was in the beginning it will one day be, World without end Amen.

So nurture in you inner self peace and love then love and care for all God’s creation, especially all people, but inclusive of all living things.  then there will be liberty and justice for all everywhere. Amen

God is Peace

All pieces of the puzzle come together to be peace

I was a a conference a few years ago and the plenary speaker mentioned that she was surprised to say the she did not see in the first chapter of Genesis and reference to peace.  While the Hebrew word “Shalom” does not appear in the text the context is one of peace.  Just as Jesus said he would  say years later, “My peace I give to you, not as the world gives”.  The world’s experience of peace is a peace treaty that last as long the two parties can agree to keep it.  There are three characteristics of God’s peace> it is internal, eternal, relational.  Jesus is our peace. In all the first chapter of Genesis yeah the fist three verses are laden with peace.  God had to have peace no fears or concerns about dealing with the choices of humanity given the freedom and choices God gave to humanity.  God took a deep breath and in the forerunning physical person of Jesus, Jesus created the physical world while retaining perfect peace and rest in his heart.  Jesus, the second person of the trinity, was both the creator and the stability to see the creation and see that creation through peace in all things.  This is the peace that Paul said was “beyond understanding” and that Isaiah the prophet called “perfect peace”.  The water that was over the s=deep was the water that covered the whole earth and it was in three parts and those three parts become the life source and the sustaining force for all life on earth.  That water is 2 parts hydrogen and 1 part  oxygen and it is what sustains the green space it gave way to prepare for during creation.

So the three parts of the three parts of God, that remain one though three are: God as love (Father), God a physical/son (Jesus) and God as Spirit (Holy Spirit).

So peace was ubiquitously present though not refereed to.  It is the tranquility of God that is the essence of who God is.

 

God is Spirit

where the Spirit of the Lord is there is Peace

This is an intriguing way to begin a theological quest.  In the beginning and allowing our minds to muse about what life was like before the World or the physical matter that makes up the world was called into being.  Genesis tells us little but this phrase is a hint:  “There was darkness over the face of the deep and the Spirit of God hovered over the waters”.  Is this a reference to the first “hovercraft”?  The Hebrew word used here implies not a “judgmental hovering over”.

I was tutoring some 3rd grade math students and one of them as I was leaning over her attempting to help her trust her math skills and gains some confidence, the looked up at me and said,  “I am sorry, I cannot stand when people hover over me”.  I quickly stood up and moved to her side so my posture was more positive.  The image of scripture in this regard is like the mist, that hovers over the waters as the day unfolds and is very positive and propelling into the day with all its hopes and possibilities.

God is Spirit.  I heard someone quote a wise muser who said, “while some think we are physical beings in search of a Spiritual Experience or reality, I think, We are Spiritual Beings having a physical experience”.

God is Spirit.  Spirit is gentle, long suffering, kind, peaceful, loving, joyful

God is Love, and In the Beginning that is all there was

"Whoever loves is born of God for God loves" I John 4:8, 16b

In the beginning:  before there was time, all there was eternity;   before there was darkness, before there was light, before there was a created physical world, all there was nothing or nihl: except LOVE.

John in his Gospel and in his three epistles makes that very clear.

“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is Love” v 8, “God is Love, whoever lives in love lives in God and God in them” v16b.  Peter goes on to define “perfect love”.  Only the second place where perfect, precedes an adjective as love and peace.

It is not a theological position, posture or postulate that saves us it is the experience of love inside us, the expression of love towards all our parts and towards all people outside of us that affirms and confirms that we dwell in God and that God dwells in us.  Jesus is love as we experience him and as he expresses God;s to us and through us.

Please not well and with humility and integrity that there are other faith groups that lead people into experiencing love inside of them toward all their parts and out side of them toward all people.

While they do not name Jesus might even deny Jesus as the church has classified and codified him, they still come the way of Jesus for that way is the way of “Love”.

In this kind of ecumenicity is not ecumenical in polity or piety but in humility integrity and in practice.  This is what Jesus came to dispel:  church  ecumenicity and religious piety in exchange for true and Christ centered faith that moves mountains and heals trauma, diseases, and conflicts.

In the Beginning all there was was Love.

In the Gloria Patri we sing:   “as it was in the beginning ever shall be, world without end” Amen.

the World that was in the beginning and ever shall be is  LOVE and ________

Love not elitism, arrogance, egotism, or egocentricity is the mark of the true Christian.  By this definition, many who call themselves Christians are not and many who would never think of themselves as Christians truly are.

Is Love for God, self and others the single most characteristic of your faith?

The Theology of Love, Peace, Spirit

God is Love and anyone who loves is born of God

In honor of Rev. Max Stackhouse and some of those who shared at his memorial service on Saturday February 13th, 2016 I am going to begin to write about something he and i dialogued about and he encouraged me to write on it.  So here goes:

 

For centuries theologians have built on their or tore down the theories of their predecessors.  Abraham Kuyper became a reformer of Karl Barth’s Theology.  Well noted and itself boundless in its clarity, beautiful in its reflection of the creator, and majestic and mystical in its application.  I do not want to add to or take from it.  I do want to add a new lens and new perspective to the idea of Theology.

Theology in its essence is the study of God.  I find three clear subject object statements of who God is and as such they fall easily into a tripartite system of God.  This tripartite system of God is what we call the trinity.  It is visible and experientially witnessed in creation for instance water is made up of three particles, water has three forms: liquid, vapor, and solid, the sun: is light, gas, and heat, humanity is body soul and spirit, etc etc. etc.

God is Love, the Father/Mother/Parent bestows that love on all people all creation

God is Peace, the Son is the Prince of Peace the sustainer and harbinger of peace

God is Spirit, the Holy Spirit give, equips, and quickens all who will open their perceptions to the presence of spirit in and all around all people

I will build on this frame over the next three posts over the next few days.

A Theology of Love and Peace

 

Context often is the key to Clarity, One Way Yes, not yours

"Let not your heart be troubled"

This text is often quoted at funerals of Christian believers.  This is understandable.  It is clear.

The preceding chapter focuses on how the disciples are now having to adjust are being asked to adjust or clearly being forced to adjust their thinking form one way thing to a new way of thinking.  They were all thinking that Jesus was the messiah and that he was about to usher in a time of unprecedented peace and love.  He suddenly began to talk with them about “serving one another”, “washing one another’s feet”, “remaining steadfast even in the face of a betrayal”, “remaining in a sense of loving relationship even if you deny your heart”, and “remaining constant in loving one another no matter what”.  Then with unabashed clarity and certainty Jesus says, (And when you fall on your face and feel discouraged, depressed, dismayed by your won lack of faith) Let not your heart be troubled. Do not be confused or troubled by all those who claim this and that.  simply recall, “You believe in God believe also in me in my Father’s House are many houses if it were not so I would have told you”.  Those houses are many and varied.  I do not think Jesus means there is a baptist house and a methodist house and a pentecostal house and an Episcopalian House, a Buddhist house, an Hindu house, et al.  Rather there are many houses of faith and people share those houses in a community of faith with no wallpaper of beliefs that separate us from one another.  Rather that as is was in the beginning so then and ever shall it be world without end Amen.

These houses are real places where all the differences melt away and the oneness of faith hope and love unite us all for ever and ever amen.

This does not diminish who Jesus is but enlarges who Jesus is to the Glory of the Creator. Jesus told them he was going to prepare a place for them that they could be with him there.  Jesus told them they knew the way to this place where He was going.  When Thomas said not so we do not know the way and we certaitnly do not know how to get there. The disciples asked how shall we know the way as if they were looking for some specific way.

So they made what Jesus announced as a wide way of love and peace into a narrow way of dogma and doctrine thus entered the perennial declarations be person after person, of church after church, of faith group after faith group….we have the correct interpretation of what Jesus meant “our way is the right way”.  Nothing is more egocentric, narcissistic, and antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus than such a notion.  Similarly, the “whoever will may come” open invitation to all people to come all ways to the one way of love and peace is wide open and very affirming.