*Seek first the kingdom of God and its righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39 She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. 40 But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; 42 there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”
Remember the Sabbath day (for Christians, “a sense of Sabbath” built into our week), by keeping it holy.
I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content.
*For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
*But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to God, who is unseen. Then God, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
God is my shepherd, I shall not want. God makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me beside still waters. God restores my soul.
-Psalm 23: 1-3a
Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.
TEXTS OF CHRISTIAN MYSTICISM
As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
*Be still and know that I am God.
Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but EMPTIED HIMSELF, taking the form of a servant.
I will entice you into the desert and there I will speak to you in the depths of your heart.
After fasting forty days and forty nights… Then Jesus was filled with the power of the Spirit…
-Matthew 4:2a, Luke 4:14a
The Word (God) became flesh and lived among us.
*God and I are one.
God is in me and I am in God.
-John 10: 38b
For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.
For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.
-1 Corinthians 3:11
So God created humankind in God’s image… God saw everything that was made (the whole natural world), and indeed, it was very good.
-Genesis 1:27a, 31a
The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.
*But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
And he cautioned them, saying, “Watch out—beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.” (“the Pharisees” represent systems of exclusion and purity codes. “Herod” represents systems of domination and violence.)
Mystical statements about God, God’s dominion, and the power of God
The kingdom of God is within you.
‘In God we live and move and have our being.’
God is spirit, and those who worship God must worship God must worship in spirit and truth.
And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave.
-1 Kings 19: 11-13a
As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped. “Who touched me?” Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.” But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.” Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”
Divine Light (Taborian Light)
After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. 3 His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them (This phenomena is referred to as “Taborian Light” or “The Light of Tabor” in the Eastern Church and is believed to recur today among advanced practitioners of silent prayer).
As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He (Paul) fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
God is characterized by love
God is love.
-1 John 4:8b
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
-1 Corinthians 13
Humility, Surrender, Forgiveness, Equanimity
God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble
“God, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”
Jesus said, “God, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (spoken to Jesus’ executioners and accomplices while he was hanging from the cross).
God makes the sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.
Ultimately God is Mystery
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.
The peace of God…surpasses all understanding.
Make no images of God because God is ultimately beyond human conception.
God is in process with us
And the Lord said, “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will forgive the whole place for their sake.” Abraham answered, “Let me take it upon myself to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes. Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And he said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.” Again he spoke to him, “Suppose forty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of forty I will not do it.” Then he said, “Oh do not let the Lord be angry if I speak. Suppose thirty are found there.” He answered, “I will not do it, if I find thirty there.” He said, “Let me take it upon myself to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it.” Then he said, “Oh do not let the Lord be angry if I speak just once more. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.” And the Lord went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham; and Abraham returned to his place.