This is a partial archive from 2004, but a still apt invitation for you
to enter the current of your life.
(There is no video version this week — the preacher is taking a break)
In the year 627 BCE (Before the Common Era)
a child or youth named Jeremiah felt the current
running through his life and the current reached up
from under the surface
and pulled the boy
into the depth.
he cried in desperation and in the fear of drowning.
“Relax and move with me” the voice assured, “Be not afraid.”
The boy had no way to know, because he was just a boy,
that Ashurbanipal was about to die.
Who was Ashurbanipal, you might ask.
He was the last strong emperor
of the Assyrian Empire.
In other words, the world as it was known
was about to change dramatically.
It would be more earth shattering
than the failure of the Marginaux Line;
than the fall of the Berlin Wall;
than the fall of the Twin Towers.
Within the lifetime of that boy
his own nation would fall
his own city would be destroyed
his own Temple would be burned
his own people would be exiled
his own family would be enslaved
his own religion
would have its every promise raped,
it’s very God,
the one who called to the boy,
would be revealed as powerless
and the once eternal promises
appear to be only lies.
When the current in the river of his life
tells the boy
he was called
even before he was formed,
even before he was born,
it means that without the boy
the history of the world would
Upon that boy rested the cosmos —
the very orbit of planets and stars
not to mention
nations and peoples.
Walter Brueggemann has observed
with passionate understatement,
that without the prophecies Jeremiah
would deliver to his people,
that the succeeding generations of Judeans
who were exiled and enslaved in Babylon,
would never have had the
theological metaphors and visions
with which to comprehend their holocaust.
And thus, they would not
have been empowered
to eventually move beyond it
there at that moment in history,
Judaism may well have vanished.
Judaism, Christianity and Islam
rested upon that boy’s decision
to enter into the current of his life
even the idea of Israel
would have disappeared
like the Hittites before them.
Is it historical accident
that Jeremiah was there
to plant the seed of recovery
at that very moment of destruction?
You know it doesn’t matter
if it was a direct act of God
or historical accident…
the truth of that moment
remains the same:
upon one boy rotated the universe.
That is all that needs to be said.
An entire universe of possibilities,
a veritable cosmos of orbiting lives,
rests upon your small life.
Hear me now, please.
The current of your life is calling.
It is reaching up and
pulling you down
and you may even think you are drowning.
But the turbulence is life not death.
Someone, perhaps a whole nation of someone’s,
rests upon your entering the depths
with the current of your life.
There is no difference
He was just an ordinary person
We cannot be so arrogant
to not recognize that a universe
may be hovering over our heads.
We cannot be so unimaginative
as to take for granted
a rut that we walk down
when there is a current
pulling us down.
Believe me, you matter
more than you have ever been
brave enough to imagine.
God has a dream for your life,
To every life
and the supreme joy
and opportunity of every life
is to live out God’s best dream for us.
It may not be a prophetic call
like poor Jeremiah who suffered great anguish
in his life,
but whatever it is,
there are countless other people
waiting for each of us to get into the game.
I would ask that you imagine
just one life
in the constellation of lives
within which you live.
Someone, you may not even know who yet,
someone is struggling toward a spiritual awakening
but they are very alone.
Someone you know
has kept their yearning
and their fear
and is perhaps even fending it off
They do not know
you are engaged in a spiritual awakening yourself,
they do not know it
because you have never told them.
They do not know
that you are a safe haven
and that you are connected to a vast
underground railroad of spiritual wisdom
They think that Trinity Place
or whatever community you are rooted in,
is just a building
holding stern judgments.
They think that places such as this
and people like us
are just waiting to condemn them
and humiliate them
and change them.
They do not know
that we are a house of prayer for all people
and that there are other
progressive spiritual communities out there.
They don’t know
because you haven’t shown them yet. What if you do?
What if you helped them enter the current in their life –
who might be impacted?
What universe might be saved?
historical event might be influenced?
Maybe only small things
will happen as a result,
what what other small things
will rest upon
the small thing
you put in motion?
There could be a cascade
of small things that change
the current of the river.
Please, stop and consider it.
Stop and think about who
is waiting for you
to evoke or speak of such intimacies.
Enter the current of your life,
with abandon or one toe at a time – just enter.