Voice Recognition

18 Jun

Kathryn Hauser’s Reflection for 1 Lent 13 March 2011

Voice Recognition

The serpent is still alive.  This crafty beast is still creating divisions.  That’s his job.  In the Garden of Eden he approached Eve, probably because she listened and was open to having a conversation.  After all, she did desire to be wise (Genesis 3:6), and talking with others is a good source for gaining wisdom (if the other is seeking wisdom as well.)  But without the gift of discernment, it is difficult to know what is good and evil.  Both create fruits.  One fruit makes for well-being and the other makes us sick on many levels.  In a sense, each person’s “forbidden fruit” is the desire that each individual is born with and gifted with at birth.  That sounds like a contradiction, but bear with me.  God gives each person a gift as part of his/her character, such as faith, teaching, mercy, or any one (or more) of the thirty-some spiritual gifts.  As we get to know our unique gifts, that gift is crucified with Christ in order to make it pure and strong and to glorify God Himself.  We have to lay it on the cross for Him to make it stronger and purer.  Prime examples of this are Beethoven going deaf only to produce his greatest musical pieces, or the person with the gift of hospitality who ends up homeless to later open a woman’s shelter. Those who have experienced great loss, have great compassion for others, if they’ve gone through it with God and allowed Him to mold them into His own likeness.

Being able to discern between what is authentic Self and what is temptation has to do with voice recognition.  Beethoven had to struggle with his humanity and faith when he lost his hearing.  He had to face the same temptations Jesus faced in the wilderness.  How do I know?  Because these are universal temptations.  The divinely human spirit knows what it desires and must still face the same temptations regardless of gender, race, or religion:

“Turn stones into bread” (ref Matthew 4:3):  The temptation is to put appetites first before making God a priority and chewing on the Bread of Life.

“Throw yourself down and the angels will catch you” (ref Matthew 4:6):  The temptation is to test our safety.  Children push the limits to test if they are really safe.  We do it with God, too.  But mature faith trusts in God, so there is no need to test Him to find out if we are safe.  Children who already know they are loved feel safe.

“Look at all you’ve got and fall down to worship the bootstraps of self-effort by which you have picked up yourself.  Just look at the splendor of this kingdom you’ve made.  Didn’t I, Satan, tell you, “The Lord helps those who help themselves?  And wasn’t I right?”” (ref Matthew 4:8)  But the lie is that self-effort doesn’t serve God, it serves itself.  ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.’ (Mt 4:10)

In the process of facing these temptations, we find out who we are and who we are not.  That’s part of voice recognition.  It’s a maturation process.  The Church also has gone through the same identity maturation process as we have as individuals.  The Church as Institution (as opposed to the Church of Pentecost) turned doctrine into stones and the intellect into bread after chewing on it for two thousand years.  Now the Church is starting to bring that knowledge down from the head and into the heart where it can be married in wisdom.  The Church has tested her safety with God.  She has thrashed about on the emotional rollercoaster with “weeping and gnashing of teeth” as she has been stretched through great times of grieving and loss and back to times of great pinnacles of honor with solemn ceremony.  She has wept through periods of darkness over the centuries and expanded her consciousness in periods of light over other centuries.  The Church has been taken to high mountains and been shown all the kingdoms of the world and all their splendor.  And the Church looked around and said, “Hmmm…maybe this is not so bad…Maybe we’ll just stay up here where the view is nice.”  Huh?  What happened?  The view with all the splendor was too enticing.  The Church as Institution forgot to listen to the Holy Spirit.  God makes Light and en-Light-enment, and in the process we can “Hear what the Spirit is saying to the Churches.”  But the Church didn’t want to listen.  Back in November 2010, I confronted this issue when the Church chose to listen to static instead of to God.  I reminded the Church of what Jesus had said in

Matthew 11: 31 And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.”

I wrote a representative of the Institution and said: 

“It does not matter what you think or don’t think of me, what name I am called or not called (I am still a Daughter of Man, a human being, the bride of Christ), or even how fervent your prayers are for me.  What we have gone through is forgiven.  But ignoring the Holy Spirit is wrong and makes it impossible for any kind of relationship to move forward.  That is Truth.  ~Kathryn

The Establishment put words to the denial of the greater Church and wrote back:

Thu, Nov 11, 2010 at 7:58 AM

I really have no idea what you are speaking of.  We have not been ignoring the Holy Spirit.  Never have.

 If you have concerns, do feel free to bring them up.

Needless to say, I had concerns but did not feel free to bring them up any more.  I’d already tried many, many (and oh so many and possibly way too many) times.  The issue in this space and moment, right here and now today, is not about the dance of two human beings, but it is a reflection of the greater dance taking place in the cosmos where God is restoring His kingdom.  The dance is like two polarized magnets repelling each other.  As the magnets dance, there is humming silence because they cannot “click” together.  The Church as Institution is naked and grabbing fig leaves of silence to cover up their shame (ref Gen 3:7 and Ps 32:3).  Please note that there are different kinds of silence.  The key is to discern the different types and their purpose.  There is the silence of shame.  There is harmonic silence.  There is contemplative silence, where we are still and know that God is God (Psalm 46:10).  There is the silence that accompanies periods of confusion followed by periods of understanding as we absorb what we have learned.  There is screaming silence.  There is punishing silence.  There is the silence of awe and wonder.  There is the silence of the “busyness” and of doing “good works” for God, but the mind is rushing forward and leaving the heart behind.  There is the silence of waiting on the Lord.  There is the silence of waiting and then waiting some more even after the Lord has given direction and counsel and people are still doing nothing.  And then there is a different kind of silence that occurs in heaven.

“When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.” (Revelation 8:1)

This silence in heaven didn’t only occur once before the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but this silence happens in Alpha and Omega swirls of the Holy Spirit each time before the birthing of something New.  The redemption in this silence is that the Church of Pentecost, the authentic Church, does ‘hear what the Spirit is saying to the Churches.’ The authentic Church has remained integral and practices what she preaches.  Where the Church has been broken, the healing of Christ reaches in and redeems from the inside out.  In other words the Church will help heal the Church.

 

1 Lent                         13 March 2011                                             Gospel: Matthew 4:1-11

Old Testament Lesson: Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7
2:15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.

2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden;

2:17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.”

3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

3:2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden;

3:3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.'”

3:4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die;

3:5 for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

3:6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate.

3:7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.

Psalm 32
32:1 Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

32:2 Happy are those to whom the LORD imputes no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

32:3 While I kept silence, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long.

32:4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah

32:5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not hide my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah

32:6 Therefore let all who are faithful offer prayer to you; at a time of distress, the rush of mighty waters shall not reach them.

32:7 You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with glad cries of deliverance. Selah

32:8 I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.

32:9 Do not be like a horse or a mule, without understanding, whose temper must be curbed with bit and bridle, else it will not stay near you.

32:10 Many are the torments of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds those who trust in the LORD.

32:11 Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.

New Testament Lesson: Romans 5:12-19
5:12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death came through sin, and so death spread to all because all have sinned-

5:13 sin was indeed in the world before the law, but sin is not reckoned when there is no law.

5:14 Yet death exercised dominion from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the transgression of Adam, who is a type of the one who was to come.

5:15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died through the one man’s trespass, much more surely have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abounded for the many.

5:16 And the free gift is not like the effect of the one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brings justification.

5:17 If, because of the one man’s trespass, death exercised dominion through that one, much more surely will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness exercise dominion in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

5:18 Therefore just as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all.

5:19 For just as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.

Gospel Lesson: Matthew 4:1-11
4:1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

4:2 He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished.

4:3 The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”

4:4 But he answered, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”

4:5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple,

4:6 saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.'”

4:7 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'”

4:8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor;

4:9 and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”

4:10 Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! for it is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.'”

4:11 Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him.

 

 

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