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Born of God

Born of God

Today on the tall cottonwoods outside my window, shiny new leaves are emerging from their buds.  The neighbor’s wind chimes fill the morning air.  Here’s the line from today’s readings that has caught my attention. “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God. . .”

As I watch the jays and the chickadees flutter in the yard I think to myself, “Everything that is has been born of God — all this beauty, this diversity, this abundance.” All things created bear God within them.  God’s DNA, if you will, is present in the basic composition of all that exists, a constantly demanding urge toward new life, creativity, transformation, and also blessed rest, decay, retreat and death.  God is the dance of being against the backdrop of perfect emptiness.  We are merely little, self-conscious bits in this divine movement.

But believing that Jesus is the Christ is a new consciousness.  It doesn’t simply mean being able to state with conviction that Jesus the First Century Palistinian fills the role of Son of God, savior of the world.  It means knowing that I am beloved and living into a Way of Love that takes me out of my ordinary self-focused life into relationship, into community.  Being born of God means being born of agape, that difficult-to-define, self-sacrificing impulse that is evident in every action of Jesus in his time on earth.  It means being one with the heart of Christ in prayer and in action — and in community.  None of us can do it all by ourselves; it takes a village to sustain the born-of-God consciousness.

At heart being born of God means knowing that we are beloved and of infinite value.  And so is everybody else.  This is the place from which we act when we lay down our lives for one another.

It happens all the time in thousands of ways, little and big: confronting aggressors, standing beside or even in front of people who are being attacked; speaking up for what we know to be right; being good allies to those being oppressed; or standing our ground in difficult situations at work or with extended family.  But there is also missing an important deadline so that we can listen to somebody who really needs to talk; remembering our reusable grocery containers; advocating for policy changes that create a more equal world; grieving our losses; or simply sitting next to someone who is being ridiculed so that she is not alone.  In consideration of others, we lay down our lives in changes of lifestyle: moving into a small house; buying local products; taking a salary hit so that everybody gets medical insurance; owning only one car; or sending our children to public school and advocating for the quality of their education.

The consciousness of being born of God is not constant in me by any means.  Often I act selfishly.  But the more conscious I am in the dance of creation the more torn open by love I am.  There is nowhere I have to go, nothing that I must become.  I am a child of God, beloved beyond any measure that could possibly be applied, no matter what I do.  And so, in the moments in which I understand, I pour myself out for those who need me, because what else would I do?  The trees put out buds, the birds squawk and soar, and I am conscious of them and of myself and of God.  What else would I do?

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