Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Word of the Lord

I saw Jesus Camp last weekend. I’d seen the trailers and read discussions about it, but must admit I was still somewhat unprepared for the emotional impact of seeing young children being brainwashed to tears by adults using very precise techniques of emotional/mental manipulation.

I recommend this movie, disturbing as it is, because people really need to see what’s out there. People need to see how some fundamentalist Christians are trying to shape the next generation of American citizens, and prime them to move into political and religious leadership positions in order to “get the country back on track” – the very Christian track they imagine it is supposed to run on.

The movie’s official website is www.jesuscampthemovie.com Please click "Videos" to see the trailers. You Tube dot com also has a few of the trailers.

There is a scene in Jesus Camp where a 12 yr old boy, a wannabe preacher, spins to face the crowd and exclaims loudly, seriously, and dramatically, “Hear the Word of the Lord!!!”

When I saw this bit, it brought something up for me I’ve been thinking on for years. This is certainly not the first time I’ve heard the expression, “the Word of the Lord.” It’s used frequently in Christian ceremonies and references.

A few years ago I found myself hearing it quite a bit due to some dear Christian friends, who talked a lot about their faith to anyone who was too polite to tell them to shut up. Although it was irritating so be so inadvertently ‘preached at,’ for a while I just let it go in one ear and out the other; then I had one of those moments. You know the type. Something you’ve heard or seen a lot suddenly opens itself up and it’s as if you are seeing or hearing it for the first time, and then it reshapes itself into something much more clear and understandable.

So I asked myself..... presuming, for the moment, that I accept that there is a “Lord-God-Almighty-Creator-of-Heaven-and-Earth.” Now...what would such a being say, and how would he (or, dare I say, SHE) say it? What exactly ARE the Words of the Lord?

And as I said this I knew the answer for certain. Any being/consciousness/intelligence huge enough to give rise to something as vast and complex as the universe is so far beyond humanity that if it speaks a language, it’s not a human one. This being/consciousness/intelligence/god expresses itself alright, but not in English, Arabic, Aramaic, Hebrew, the KJV, or the Qu’ran.

This being, this consciousness, this “God” – speaks biology, chemistry, physics, geology. God does not speak in words, but in mountains and oceans, forests and animals, planets, stars and galaxies, photons and molecules. If there is a language spoken by God, it is the language of mathematics, as it is mathematics which allows us to see and know the amazing precision and order of the universe, a fact which bespeaks a creative or organizing intelligence – that which we refer to as God/dess.

So, all you folks out there who are looking to find the Word of the Lord, look around you at the good green earth. Take a walk in a forest. Pay attention to spider webs and anthills, and the petals of a flower. Smell the flowers and herbs. Have a look up into the sky, by both day and night, and admire the sun, the clouds, the colors, and the stars and moon by night. Sit and pet your kitty for a while; let your dog take you for a walk. Take a science class and learn the laws and wonders of nature. Ponder, wonder, exult in the fact that you are a conscious, sentient being.

By these means, you will REALLY know the Word of the Lord (and Lady....)

Monday, November 06, 2006

It Gets Me Every Year......

The Reaper comes among us at this time of the year, swinging his black scythe—the harvest is upon us. The bounty of the summer season is stored in the granaries of the tribe to sustain us throughout the dark days ahead.

And as the Reaper passes, harvesting both the essence of the grain and the souls of the Lady’s people, he also rends the veil that separates the living from the dead, the Land of Home from Summerland.

At this time we are reunited with those who have passed into Summerland to learn again the lesson that life and death come equally to all and are separated by the merest of illusions.

That as they are, so we have been, and will be again; and that they shall be again as we are now; over and over as we spiral upward, dancing our way back to the presence of the Great Mother, even as the smoke and ash of the fires of autumn dance their way upward into the starlit sky.

(WiccaCraft for Families; Margie McAthur, Phoenix Publishing, 1994)

Every year when I read these profound words I become silent, and am filled with thoughts of my ancestors. My mind stretches far back into time—to their lifetimes—and far forward in time, to the lifetimes of my own progeny. I think of how I sit here, in the middle...and I muse upon the cycle of life and death.

These words were written by my friend JoAnn Aelfwine for a Samhain ritual we held for our children many a Samhain ago. These children now have children of their own. And so the cycle goes, and the wheel of life keeps turning.

A Blessed and Happy Samhain Season to All!
May you find strength and wisdom in your ancestors, and joy and comfort in your children!