Friday, October 20, 2006

Friday, October 20, 2006

Today’s reading

Philippians 2:12-13

“Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you to will and work for his good pleasure” (Phil. 2:12-13).


Do you experience joy, Holy One? You work for your good pleasure in me, in every fallen leaf on October days and in the restless energies of the universe. Each pulses with the life you breathe, conspiring to turn each leaf into nutrient and soil to seed a million tomorrows on this tiny, out-of-the-way planet. Does this bring joy to your divine heart?

Do you look at all the wonder you make, all in which you work, and take pleasure in it, inhaling joy even as I draw in the crisp, autumnal air until my lungs ache? I want only that my flesh should hold more of the ocean of life that envelops me as certainly as your embrace. I breathe in, drawing joy in every breath. And I want more. I want more.

Are you like that, wanting more, more life, more joy, more abundance, more of all in which you take pleasure? I like to think so. I like to think that my constant desire for more—more joy, more life, more love, more of you, is the presence of the Spirit you are. The restless desire for more is but a taste of your hunger to give life, to pour your joy into us that we may stand in awe-struck wonder at the unlikely fact that life is.

But perhaps not so unlikely. From the beginning, your one work has been to love the world—and me—into life, in spite of our determined resistance. Every act of creation, every body and soul Jesus healed, every soul you have released from bondage in this and every age speaks to me of your joy. Every time I cry to you and know again the love in which I was made, the love in which you hold me, voices your delight: “My pleasure is life and giving it. This is my joy.”

I want to share your joy, the good pleasure you surely must know in making beautiful things and loving them into life. I can imagine no greater privilege. Even as the sun rests low, invite me again into the eternal joy of your holy labor. Amen.

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