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I am, Ground of Being and the Courage to Be : A Dangerous Proposition

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The dying can really teach the living the power of being.  Then again, I guess we are all dying whether we grasp it or not.  Perhaps in this moment of time, we might all be better served if we were dying.  For in the realization that we are dying, we gain an ability to truly live.  This is a sermon about pushing past fear to a space of being.

 

The great theologian Paul Tillich spoke of gaining the courage to be.  In a world that encourages a normalization that creates masses of posers and imposters, actually being you or having the courage to be is a very countercultural and dangerous act.  But being is of utmost importance to the spiritual journey.  Tillich often speaks of having the courage to pursue the God that is beyond God.  I think the journey to meet that God starts within.  I am channeling Tillich when I say…when we have the courage to leave all behind and reach the ground of our being…then we shall meet that which is the ground of all being.

 

It is interesting that throughout scripture God is the most self-actualized of all.  Numerous times God simply describes God’s self as “I am.”  I believe that God calls us to the same boldness.  To the boldness of “I am.”

 

In John 14:7, Jesus declares, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.”  Jesus claims exactly who Jesus is and we are called to do the same.

 

Why are we so frightened to simply be who we are?  Why do we live frightened?  The answer is that we value safety over being.  We would rather be safe than real.  This is not the life that Jesus has called us to.

 

In Mark 10: 17-27, Jesus encounters a rich young ruler.  The ruler asks about eternal life.  Jesus tells him that the rich young ruler knows the commandments.  The rich young ruler claims that he has kept all of them.  Jesus asks him to sell all that he has and give the proceeds to the poor.  The rich young ruler turned from following Jesus, because he was very rich.

 

The rich young ruler treasured the safety of his possessions more than he valued true real being or being with God.  When we cling to that which makes us safe rather than that which makes us most fully alive…we are no different than the rich young ruler.  We often can’t know who we are because we cling so tightly to everything else or all the illusions.  How many of us would rather be safe than have the courage to be…to follow God…to be real?  This morning…I invite you to take the risk of letting go and embrace your ground of being.  I invite you to speak the dangerous words of God and declare, “I am.”  I invite you to be and God will join you there.

 

Amen.

Delivered at Prism Denton : A Church

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