Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Friday, November 17, 2006

Today’s reading

Philippians 3:8b-11

“I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I might attain the resurrection from the dead” (Phil. 3:8b-11).


I have no righteousness of my own, Faithful One. I have no pretensions. You strip them all away. I know: I sin. I fall. I am driven by anxieties born of unfaith, restless lusts and ancient anger you have not yet loved out of me. When I try to make some name for myself my feet of clay again crumble, and I collapse at your feet, seeking a life and joy I cannot provide myself. And you? You are constant and unfailing, my certain morning companion who greets me in thin gray light. “Welcome,” you say each day. “I am. I am here. I am what you need. I am your righteousness.”

But is that what I need? I suppose so. My sin is already before me, and it is still early. But there is no hiding from you. You know this idea, righteousness, has never been able to grasp this soul or move me into the world of your wonder. I find it impersonal. It seems to hold you at a distance. It leaves me cold.

But you do not leave me cold. You draw me into your embrace. You welcome me into a holy space where what is yours is mine. You fulfill your desire to give me the fullness of life and intimacy with that Loving Mystery you called ‘Father,” during the days of your earthly ministry.

You, risen Christ, give me your own relationship with this Holy Mystery. You invite me into that intimacy you shared with Holy Wonder when you crept from your bed in the wee hours to sit in heart silence, speaking to the One whose name is Unspeakable. You draw me in this holy space of knowing this Love Beyond All Telling.

But there I know no thought of sin or stain or righteousness for I am in you. I live and breathe in a clear and open space where all sin and disordered desire are gone, and all thoughts of righteousness are irrelevant. They evaporate, absorbed in the morning light of paradise dawn. For I am in you, knowing the life you are. If this is what your righteousness is, if this is how you set things right, count me in. Amen.

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