A Toast…

The condition of the heart matters.  No, it really, really matters.

If one is so inclined the bible is a vast playground of defense for just about any type of manufactured behavior, both implied good and outright bad.  Centuries of misuse have divided and enslaved humanity both physically and spiritually, separating basic dignities from those needing such.  Sadly, this same book of hope, peace, and acceptance is being used to further isolate and traumatize the weak, ignored, and abused of our society.  In the depths of my heart I’m deeply saddened by the negative direction the evangelical church is taking with it’s militaristic and political overtones.  God have mercy.

As an amateur winemaker I’ve come to understand and appreciate the process of racking wine in the differing stages of fermentation necessary to produce a delicate finish.  Each time the wine is racked (transferred to another holding container) the lees is removed from the fermenter.  The lees is the unwanted sediments found on the bottom of the barrel that takes away from the quality of the finished product.  With wine, the more rackings that are done, the finer the quality of the wine.  With people in the church, this analogy doesn’t hold true, in fact it’s just the opposite.  Each time the church tries to refine itself and make the institution more pure, it lessens the end product and by no means improves it.

People are not like lees which can just be thrown out and forgotten.  Even if they are considered bottom of the barrel by some, there is a basic goodness in all that has to be valued and considered.  The church is well on it’s way to refining itself into uselessness with little or no social impact.  How can this institution be taken seriously by anyone other than the select few who claim themselves holy or good enough to be included.

Consider this beautiful prayer of St. Francis of Assisi…

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred . . . let me sow love. Where there is injury . . . pardon. Where there is doubt . . . faith. Where there is despair . . . hope. Where there is darkness . . . light. Where there is sadness . . . joy. O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek To be consoled . . . as to console, To be understood . . . as to understand; To be loved . . . as to love, For It is in giving . . . that we receive. It is in pardoning . . . that we are pardoned, It is in dying . . . that we are born to eternal life.

Raise your glass and join me in a toast…To Love, and the true practice thereof.

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1 Comment

  1. Don said,

    October 5, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    My glass is raised to the philosophy of the great St. Francis.

    Love, faith, hope, light, joy, consolation, understanding, giving, pardoning, and dying to hatred. Don


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