Jerusalem, we are standing
inside your gates. (Psalm 122.2, CEV)
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, … (I Corinthians 6.19, ESV)
The blaze of a million Fires
Lit upon me tonight
And that Fire and I
Did become in each other
One coal of shining Light.
And in me you did hold me
Though you held all else
And Love became one kiss—
What a blissful kiss! so much
I lost my mind in sweet forgetfulness for a time—
On one man’s lips: Such is
Your longing for me.
*brian k. Wilcox
There are innumerable definitions of God, because his manifestations are innumerable. *Mohandas K. Ghandi, The Way to God
Every spring flower would die
Were it not for the smile of the
*brian k. wilcox
Some say that God will not respond to the prayer of a person who does not confess Christianity. How odd to reduce the infinite capacity of Love to manifest in infinite particulars to the one particular of one religious faith. Indeed, in such a “God” I find not love, not the “love” I need, but infinite selfishness—which is to say, I would not believe in nor respect such a “God.” Our limiting images of God, thankfully, say more about our own ignorance and prejudices than about God.
Remember, the path of experiencing God more intensely everywhere is experiencing God more intensely at specific places. While God manifests from the Universal to the particular, we draw close to God from the particular to the Universal.
Why is Jerusalem so important in Scripture? Why is your body the domicile of the Universal Spirit? How is it that the Spirit who kisses—intimately touches all life—at the same time kisses each one of us?
The Nature of Universal Mind is to manifest, for Love is an Energy that is outflowing. God is the ultimate Outflow. To manifest, the Universal evidences in special ways through the particular. This is to say, the Universalizing Spirit is a Particularizing Presence. However, the Universalizing makes possible the Particularizing, not the reverse.
Last evening I enjoyed a time of prayer at our sanctuary. When younger, I was fearful of sanctuaries at night. Now, I find the sanctuary and its quiet and darkness at night an inviting place to rest and pray before the Lord. I find our sanctuary and its altar a place of strong Energy, where I experience, almost immediately upon kneeling, the Vibrant Presence of Christ. The bliss of lying on the floor in song, praise, and petition was complemented by the specificity of the sacred space. When I got up and left rejoicing, I had, in other words, undergone the gracious particularization of the Wonderful Presence.
Jerusalem and our bodies remind us of the intimacy capacity of the Spirit. Jerusalem signifies that God does not manifest simply as a general Presence or Principle. Your body as temple signifies that God does not manifest simply as a general Presence or Principle. Spirit seeks specificity of place with specificity of person and community, for the proclivity of Spirit is towards intimacy. And, intimacy needs simplification and reduction of the general to the specific. Jerusalem is the specific, your body is specific, and anywhere set aside for prayer and worship becomes specific.