Editor’s Note: Patheos columnist, spiritual director and theologian Bruce Epperly has started a new daily blog at Patheos called Living A Holy Adventure. Each day Bruce will offer invitations for how we can live our days attentive and open to God’s presence in our lives. His second post from his new blog is below. Here’s to all of our holy adventures in the New Year!
On this first day of your holy adventure, we begin with the basics – our relationship with God, the Holy Adventurer. How you imagine the ultimate reality will shape what you expect from yourself and the world. What kind of world do we live in? Is God on our side or against us? Does God want us to have abundant life or does God want us to remain passive and subservient, living by scarcity?
Perhaps the best known passage from scripture is John 3:16, “for God so loved the world that God gave his only begotten Child.” One of my teachers, Bernard Loomer, judged spiritual insights by their size, that is, how much of the world they embraced. As you ponder your vision of God, consider the questions: Is your vision of God big enough to encompass the fourteen billion year, hundred billion galaxy cosmic adventure? Is your understanding of God big enough to encompass the complexities of your life as well as the neighbor and the stranger? Does your image of God encourage you to grow in stature or does it diminish your love for the world in its wonderful diversity?
As a new year’s affirmation, make a vow to have the mind the Christ or the spirit of the Bodhisattva, embracing each moment and each person in the holy here and now of God’s adventurous love.
Affirm throughout this day statements such as:
God loves the world – no exceptions.
God loves me.
I am God’s beloved child. God wants me to be creative and adventurous.
God loves ________. (a family member, neighbor, political or national opponent.)
Living with these statements will change your life and the change the world.
Throughout the day, take a moment to pause and notice the persons you meet – the bank teller, check out person, a colleague at work, or the driver who cuts you off on the road. Pause to experience your partner, child, or friend with new eyes as God’s beloved son or daughter. See them loved by God. Take off your shoes; this is holy ground. Take a moment to bless them with God’s all-encompassing love.