Tag Archives: Meditation

A good death

We are prepared to live and to live life to the fullest.  We are told to push life to the limits, to do and be all that we can be.  We are encouraged to live life in the fast lane because you only live once. “Do it while you can.  Do it while you’re young.  But, by all means, live!”

“Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” are American ideals and the American way. And our capitalist system has for sale a myriad of ways to express and experience them all.  For monthly installments or a one- time fee, we can describe a period of our lives as a good time “while supplies last.”  But, Jesus makes no such claims.  He guarantees none of these conditions. 

Life with Jesus will involve death and there is no commercial, commercial break or coupon for this.  Because his way is not American or any other.  He says to disciples then and now, “Those who love their life will lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (John 12.25, NRSV).  Jesus does not hide reality from us.  He is not a salesperson but the Savior, “full of grace and truth” (John 1.14).

He does not promise us a good life but he does model a good death.

A prayer at Advent to God in the flesh

See the source imageGod in the flesh, who reigns from a lowly manger, not draped in fine robes but wrapped in milk rags, who calls into question our lavish lifestyles, our lust for power and the images we create of it.

God in the flesh, who came not flanked with angels, who brought not the might of heaven but the strongest, truest and deepest of loves, a love that coos us and woos us to Your side, a love to be held and nurtured.

We honor You.  God in Christ- child, we praise Your name.  We bow our heads and scratch them because we cannot comprehend Your commitment to us or this love that never fails.[i]  We don’t understand how You could get that close to us and we are so grateful that You would come near to us.  Our praying hands beckon You to come closer.  We invite You to lean in and to listen to our heart’s cries:

God, come into the prayers that we offer.  Step up and into times when we need You most, where we expect You are least likely to be and would not see You coming.  Do what we believe that You cannot, would not, have not, should not.  Break the commandments that we have for You.

God, come and see.  Get up close to us, Your Spirit peeping, peering into our lives.  Show us what You are so excited about, that You left heaven about, that You have no doubt about us.

God, come and see about me, her and him.  We put our hands together and ask that You fight for us, make right for us this human condition, that conditions us to believe that we have to be bigger and better than our neighbor, even our sister and brother.

Finally, give us the grace to lay down our burdens and measuring sticks so that we can see Your face in our neighbor as if our next of kin.  Help us to meet this challenge with praying hands.  In the name of Christ, we pray.  Amen.


[i] First Corinthians 13.8