intertwine
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Everything you learned in Sunday School was wrong — 25 Days + GoT Mashup

breathe in + breathe out





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logion 14




If you fast you will only be
giving birth to sin in yourself.
If you pray
your prayers will come back
to haunt you.
If you give to charity
you will create evil
in your own spirit.

If, however, you travel through a region
and they welcome you,
eat whatever is put in front of you,
and heal their sick.
For it is not what goes into your mouth
that contaminates you,
but what comes out of it.





**

Reflection: Everything you learned in Sunday School was wrong.

That’s kind of what this feels like. What do you mean, don’t pray, don’t give to charity, don’t fast or practice moderation and restraint?

The three lines that begin this logion are totally antithetical to the Jewish religion that Yeshua, and the students to whom he’s speaking, would know and practice.

[A similar instruction was taught in Logion 6, and it may be that these three teachings are those he privately spoke to Thomas in Logion 13 (our saying from last week). You may remember, Thomas said to his curious friends, “If I were to tell you even one of the things he spoke to me, you would pick up these rocks and stone me…”]

This is sacrilege. An affront to the whole religious system.

In my earlier years, I would have been surprised by these sayings. But now, sadly and thankfully, these words make total sense.

Religion has become a tool in service of dominant groups and narratives. A means of protecting power and justifying selfish desire.
It’s been used to justify slavery and today’s forms of white supremacy, chock full of scapegoating and xenophobia.
It’s been professed by CEO’s, oil barons and politicians to justify the exploitative and extractive economies that are destroying all life.
It’s been used to justify wars around the globe, and wars in homes (e.g., abuse and domination) and communities (e.g., the marginalization of LGBTQIA folx, etc.).
What a bunch of bull shit.

So, yeah, stop the prayers — the self-righteous, mind-numbing, keep my comfortable status quo kind of thinking and praying.
Stop the charity — the White Savior anesthetic that keeps the co-dependent heart of late-stage capitalism and my need to feel better about myself ticking.
Stop the fasting, too — the denial of the goodness of our bodies, of sexuality, of sensuality, and of earth.

Just stop. All of those have been poisoned with shame. It’s time to get free.

And so, comes the call. The corrective. Here is the invitation to a spirituality of empathy, compassion and joy.

Yeshua invites his students back to the heart of their Jewish faith. Religion ought be a tool that serves our spiritual life — a means for reminding us of our cosmic interconnection and the Divine and inherent fleshy worth of it all.

Instead of remaining in the stale and poisoned air of the echo chamber, we are invited to travel. Both outward and inward.
Instead of planning all your stays in the places where you’ll be comfortable, stay wherever you are welcomed in.
Instead of self-sufficiency, receive hospitality from the stranger.

Find yourself and be about the work of healing.

Travel outward.

What humans are inhuman in your mind or to your people? Draw closer to that other, and open yourself. Allow yourself to be surprised by their humanity, both their pains and generosity.

With the ears of your soul open, listen to the feast of their lives — to their stories. It’s through listening that we remember interconnection. Through listening, empathy is born. And empathy is a balm that begins the healing process.

Travel inward.

What places within yourself have you “othered?” Where is their misunderstanding and need of healing? Don’t try to fix it through the violence of today’s religion (i.e., materialism, perfectionism and self-loathing, escapism).
Instead, gently knock on the door of your heart.

Welcome,
I hope you’ve come hungry.

Now, sit and listen to your story — the parts of it long unheard.
Feel
as your thirst and hunger a satiated through
the feast
of simply
bearing witness.

It is from this healing and healed space
that healing flows out.
Water from the spring of your soul.
Honey from the comb
of your heart.

Peace and breath as you head out on this healing journey

*

Intertwine is going inward. As cooler weather moves in and quarantine persists, let the be a season for developing our inner life. To aid us on the journey, we’re engaging the wisdom contained in the Gospel of Thomas, an ancient mystical Christian text. Lynn Bauman’s translation and commentary are the primary source for these reflections. Those of you who want to dig in even deeper, consider purchasing his books: Find Lynn’s basic GoT translation (in The Luminous Gospels) and his exceptional commentary (In Trouble and In Wonder) here.

Also key to this work is to address trauma within our bodies and systems. We continue to engage in the body-work presented in Resmaa Menakem’s My Grandmother’s Hands: Raciialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending our Hearts and Bodies. It’s not too late to get involved in this work. We have a few copies of the book available, and triads or small groups are still forming to work through the practices and material together. Find out more about this work here

Request a book and connect to a triad by emailing info@intertwinene.org

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