The Work of the People

APR 05, 2016 - Visual Epistles

The Massive Living Program

NOTE: From the series Guided by Grace, Love & Light found HERE.

// Watch Film //

“The church reminds me that I am called to be the beautiful, I am called to be the Light. That I am called to move in a way that is so inverted-ly different in the world…. It’s about everybody being welcomed at the table…I think the church ought to be a picture of what that table will look like…”

Grace for everybody. 
Hitler? Yes. 
Murderers? Yes.
Blacks and Whites? Yes.
Muslims, Hindus, Atheists, and extremists? Yes.

Yes. Of course. The God of all creation is offering opportunity for all creation, God’s giving, not withholding “a love that will receive”—a love that does not let go, that goes on and on, a “for you” love. “Jesus is about a massive living program…” Life, although it sometimes doesn’t feel like it, is a grace. Rasmus quoted Jesus saying, I came to give life with joy and abundance. (John 10:10, The Voice)

LIFE WITH JOY AND ABUNDANCE. Let that sink in. Joy—more than enough…abundant! More than enough…for all! Ultimately, should we become willing to do the work of “letting God”,  we are welcomed into a receiving practice. If God is ever present, so is God’s grace…flowing and constant and for us…just as we are…even in our hellish extremes. This is good news. This is the best news ever. Take some time to soak it in.

Don’t let the pain expressed in this video go unnoticed, unfelt, or glazed over even though we have good news. This is real pain, real people-real life pain. We will all experience it. Strangely enough, in the vastness and great mystery of God’s created cosmos…we are a planet and a people divided. You would think such a small place would live more towards “all for one, and one for all” existence. We are all we’ve got in a giant propelling, ever expanding system! But, there are real wars, within and without. We resist one another for the most part. Races, religions, politics, sexes. Wars. Battles. Wounds. Scars. We are afraid to let other people’s belief’s exist…but guess what? They do.

Each of our individual transformations into love and grace and more of who God is is only as good as it goes brings life to the world. So, yes, God. Set the table and invite everyone. Give into me in ways that increase my belief for the betterment of humankind, help me be receive you by receiving my sisters and brothers along the way—I want to take part in the Massive Living Program.

// Going Deeper //

Rasmus mentioned John 3:16: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. In my Christian life, this text has sometimes caused more grief and pain, shame for me just being who I am. Now aged in my faith and belief, I receive it as a gift…life giving and making way for life…God is for me. Sit with this verse. What are your first, honest feelings about it? Write a note to yourself or a letter to God with your hope and willingness for this study. 

Rasmus says, “I know that even in my own suffering God gives me the opportunity to dig down deep beneath all the pain and all of the disappointment and all the hurt and all the rejection and injustices, and in the midst of that he will let me see just a glimpse of something that is life-giving.” It’s true that with time and distance (and an honest, earnest eye) we can find God throughout our life story. In the ups and downs. God’s presence in the downs isn’t the condoning judgmental eye that we so often have, but a shared heart, a friend in the midst, an out-of-this-world strong, willing love. Find God in one of the hells of your life. Even if it is just a glimpse of life, notice it. Write about it. 

// Further Contemplation //

Feel free to use the film as part of a lectio divina practice, pulling a word or phrase from the film as a focal point for meditation or prayer. Or if you’d like, you can choose one of the following:

“Whosoever.” “Life in the midst of decay.” “I came to give Life.” “I came to give Joy.” “There is more than enough.”

 // Benediction //

May God use you as a grace
in life and death—

like the mighty pine,
towering within the forest

who offers shade and shelter and limbs
still gives once fallen;
and even when hollowed by decay
not only can host Life,
but becomes the fertile soil for new Life!—

Let it be you! Let it be me.
Let us be graces unknown,
the fertile soil for new life!

I have to have hope. I don’t know how to live if I didn’t. So I trust in the same power that resurrected Jesus will resurrect me and will resurrect a person who would shoot [another]. —Juanita Rasmus

Written by Kelly Ann Hall.

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We believe there is an alternative narrative to the prevalent narrative of scarcity and fear. We believe God is moving and is behind an alternative narrative of abundance and freedom, a narrative in which fear gets defeated and love wins.

We believe God’s narrative requires we altǝr our perspective, that we step, in faith, into God’s upside down reality. In God’s reality we listen for, live and speak God’s upside down voice of faith, hope and love, not striving for ourselves but serving our neighbor. For all these reasons, this is Altǝr.

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