Life as a source of the unfolding mystery

One of my congregants sent me a news story from yesterday’s Washington Post about Rev. Robert Seargears worship services.  He has been doing a series of dramatic lessons from this summer’s block buster movies.

 He dresses up in character, portrays something of the story then reveals how the struggle the character or characters are facing can teach us something about God or the parables of Jesus.  Some of the characters he has portrayed is the Joker from the Batman movie Dark Knight, Indiana Jones, and the Incredible Hulk.  It has been both controversial and stimulating for his parishioners.   His Assembly of God district thinks it is inappropriate to use the movies to teach biblical truths.  

It is creative if nothing else.  However, he is highlighting something that we Unitarian Universalists have claimed as one of our sources that inform our faith.  ” Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openess to the forces that create and uphold life… ”  All of life can be seen as pointing to the unfolding mystery if we would simply be open to the possibility. 

Of course, it requires that we are open to seeing life as being able to reveal itself as an unfolding mystery.   That is where, I believe  a spiritual practice comes in.  Whatever we use to pause and reflect on the wonder of life in and around us, would be important to be able to notice the possible lessons and wisdom life has for us.   I do several different types of prayer and meditation.  When I am out of doors, I seek to become mindful of all that is around me.  I want to hear everything that is of nature.  The birds singing in the trees, the rabbits rustling in the bushes, and honey bees buzzing full of pollen and nectar.  I want to notice everything that is of nature.  The blueness of the sky, the varying shades within the roses of a rose bush, the ants scurrying on the ground.   I remember some of my most difficult decisions were made during these times of mindfulness.  It wasn’t that I was thinking of those decisions to be made, instead I was focusing on what was around me. 

I remember during one of these times of listening to the sound of swans gliding over a still pond during a cool summer evening contrasted with listening to the rushing sounds of cars on the interstate.  The former seemed to be in the flow of life, of peaceful intentions to swim from one point to another.  The cars seemed to be forcing their way through, with all the crassness of an intimidating bully.  Which way did I want to live my life? 

Life can be our teacher if we let it to be.  And if we intend it, we can find the wisdom of the ages repeated in our daily lives.  For Robert Seagear, he has found an ability to find connections in today’s movies to the biblical truths he values as important for his congregants to grasp and understand.  And perhaps, they are grasping them for the first time, even though they have heard the parables and teachings of Jesus many times over but never in this fresh and creative way before. 

Unitarian Universalist folk singer Peter Mayer has a song that has become popular in many of our congregations, entitled “Holy Now.”   Everything can be holy if we are willing to let it unfold for us like the blossom it is.   Breathe deep the fragrance.  What is life offering us?  An opportunity to love?  An opportunity to heal a relationship?  Life can show us its deepest truths if we seek to be open to it.  Perhaps this is how Jesus heard inspiration whispering to him the parables.    Blessings,

Published in: on September 7, 2008 at 8:14 pm  Comments Off on Life as a source of the unfolding mystery  
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