My friend Mary wrote this piece (one draft, unedited) in the writer’s group last month.  It’s the third part of Descended from the Dead:

He descended to the dead….  I have felt at times as if I were on a descent to the dead: no life in me, no passion, no joy, no purpose… Maybe even felt like I wanted to go to that place of quiet oblivion, but only envisioning it as: divorce, abortion, adopting out my children, then running away: end of life as I knew it. (more…)

David Mullen wrote the second piece on “descended from the dead.  It follows:

Christ going down into the bowels of the earth–a metaphor for going deeper than we ever want to go–into the human condition, into the extremity of hopeless, far from God, supposedly, and lost.  But tradition has it that he preached to them.  Ah, so then the dead were undead, that is, not full of life, but able to hear, and receive the gospel.  Hope and Life! (more…)

In my writing group today we did a variety of writes.   One of them was running with the idea, taken from the Apostle’s Creed, that Jesus “descended to the dead.”  If all goes well, I will have three very different writes on this subject to share.  The first of them is mine:

I’m pretty sure I’ve never really understood even what I meant when I affirm, in the creed, that Jesus descended to the dead. (more…)

I need to begin, I think, by offering prayers for all who died on this day, and for all those who’s lives were disrupted (and who’s lives may never return to “normal”) in the aftermath of this day.  What happened was awful.  And what happened was intentional — as is so much evil which happens every day around the world.  It captured our imaginations as a country (and maybe even holds us hostage, to our detriment) in a way that Oklahoma City never really did — awful as that was.  I guess maybe because it happened at such a prominent landmark in New York City and because it was done by foreigners — we didn’t do it to ourselves.  It was done to us. (more…)

Brian Baker posted a piece from bishop elect Thew Forrester from the diocese of Northern Michigan.  There is organized opposition to confirming him as a bishop because of his ties with Zen Buddhists — I guess they think he doesn’t have a strong enough sense of who Jesus is.  So I wanted to excerpt a bit from the piece Brian posted (“Our Lives in Christ” by Thew).  Judge for yourselves.  And if you want to see the whole thing after reading the excerpt, click here.

Because Jesus receives everything and gratefully returns everything – his heart, his soul, his mind, his strength –   he is empty of everything except the Presence of God. This is a Christology of utterkenosis. Jesus in his Transfiguration is fully revealed as he always is – the Christ, empty of everything but the Spirit. We, as disciples, are called to the same life of transfiguration, so that through and through, in the end, it is only Christ who lives in us and we are dead to all else. This transfiguration, I believe, is our baptismal life: “As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” In the end, we come face-to-face with God and know that it is no longer “I,” but God who lives in me holding us forever as one-in-Christ, Life-giving salvation.

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