This Sunday, January 28, 2018, we continue our Via Creativa theme of Mothers of Invention. During this quarter, we’ll be exploring how we can bring forth that creative spirit of invention that can transform not just our inner world, but the world around us.
This week, we used music from Jason Mraz to learn how being dedicated to our spiritual awakening can be a creative act. Below is an excerpt from the sermon along with links to the audio of the sermon and the full celebration.
From the Jesus Story: Mark 1: 14-20: They left their nets and followed him.
From the Apostle Paul: 1 Corinthians 7:29-31: …this world in its present form is passing away.
From A Course in Miracles, Lesson 194: I place the future in the Hands of God.
Song used in the sermon: Living in the Moment – Jason Mraz
So, what did Jesus mean when he told the disciples he would make them “fishers of people”? In the tradition I grew up in, we were taught that this is a call to become evangelists. As good Southern Baptists, we were called to convert non-believers, to get them to accept Christ as their savior. We would even be quizzed about how many people we had led to Christ in the past week or month, like you had some holy quote of converts you were expected to meet.
There are, of course, other interpretations out there. The one I like the most posits that this story is one of social justice. Theologian Ched Myers (in Binding the Strong Man: A Political Reading of Mark’s Story of Jesus) notes that Jesus is using symbolic language here that the disciples would understand. The prophets Amos and Ezekiel used the idea of “hooking fish” as “a euphemism for judgment upon the rich and powerful. Taking this mandate for his own,” Myers writes, “Jesus is inviting common folk to join him in his struggle to overturn the existing order of power and privilege.”
So, the call to the disciples becomes, then, a call to end the status quo, to awaken people from their sense of separation from one another, to show people that all these categories and class systems that our collective egos have constructed in this world are illusions. There are no rich or poor, good or evil, accepted or outcast, Jesus is saying. There’s only one of us here, made manifest in many bodily forms.
Theologian William Loader writes that “Jesus’ socially disruptive call upset the system not only for those called but also for those left behind. It called for a new way of looking at life, wherever you are. There is a new set of priorities. This means changed values, but it is more than that. It means a new god, or better, a return to the God of compassion and justice. That will make a huge difference wherever we are.”
Jesus invited the disciples, and us, not just to experience that Holy Instant once – in the form of a call or a non-abiding enlightenment moment – but to learn how to be open enough to practice that instant from moment to moment, until we become fully present in the world at all times. This is what Adyashanti would refer to as “abiding enlightenment” or that way of life when, as he says, “everything within us is in cooperation with the flow of life itself, with the inevitable.” Breathe deeply.
Here’s your assignment this week: I invite you to start practicing as many Holy instants as you can this week – those moments when you make room for the miracle to see the world differently, to see love where we used to see fear, to see compassion where once there was indifference. When we dedicate ourselves to living this way – to lifting this veil of illusion and seeing that the world is truly created only from love – then we’ll all be saying: “Oh, Yeah!”