Guide to Goodness

Show us the way.  Fruit of the Spirit: Gentleness

Art by Melanie Boutiette Just Beloved

We live in a hard world.  Especially in the west where we are taught to be independent, self-reliant, and to look out for number one.  While this has worldly benefits, over time, our hearts become hardened, we live in our heads, and rarely let our guard down.  This is counter to what the spiritual life requires of us where we must learn how to be childlike, to be humble and small.  A hardened heart never allows us to lead an integrated life of body, mind, and spirit.  We must cultivate a soft and gentle heart.

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Guide to Goodness

We Believe. Fruit of the Spirit: Faithfulness

Art by Melanie Boutiette Just Beloved

In the world today, we tend to think of faithfulness in human terms.  Faithfulness is demonstrated by loyalty to our spouse, friends, duties performed, promises kept, commitments fulfilled, contracts completed, vows observed, and being true to one’s word. Although this faithfulness is certainly necessary for a successful marriage, friendships, and a virtuous life, the fruit of the spirit of faithfulness is referring to our faithfulness in Christ.

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Gift of Goodness

Gift of Goodness – September 4, 2021

A bit of goodness to start your day.

God’s goodness reveals the mysteries that are often in plain view.

There is so much to be gained if we allow the life space to unveil its mysteries that are often hidden in plain view. The Universal Christ is such an unveiling…[Love is] the greatest mystery of all. Not love as a warm and fuzzy feeling, but love as the animating force that holds us together. If we can believe that we are loved just as we are and that everything else is equally loved, we unveil a cosmic reality that is life-giving and a Christ-like reality that affirms the goodness of all creation…I encounter the Universal Christ from the cultural viewpoint of my embodiment as an African American woman, and I want to briefly share what that means to me, although categories of race, ethnicity, origin, or tribe have very little meaning in a cosmos based on original goodness and universally shared dignity. I’ve spent a lifetime working with like-minded people helping to unclog racism, sexism, gender, sexual identity bias. We struggle with the -isms so that justice might finally flow like waters. Our intentions are always good, but often our efforts include the subliminal presumption that if dominant culture would just include others and their established systems, all would be well. The Universal Christ happily displaces that notion. For if inclusion is to be meaningful, it must be based on the idea that everyone and everything is included from the beginning, not included in socially constructed hierarchies with allegiance to one political system or another, but included in a web of life, set forth from the foundations of the earth.

From Living School faculty member, the Rev. Dr. Barbara Holmes

Today, I will remember that I was born to find God and to love my neighbor, affirming the goodness of all creation.