Monday, March 18, 2013

O Taste and See

New book by Paul W Meier! O Taste and See, kindle version on amazon

paperback, O Taste and See on amazon

O Taste and See coverSimilar to Pastor Meier's book of reflections on Martin Luther's Church Postil, rather than being a book you'd read straight through, O Taste and See is one to read at random, or possibly zero in on a meditation related to one of your own favorite Jesus stories. You could read it straight through, but that's not where its true value lies. The author suggests, "25 minutes a day for the next 30 days" will help us fall in love with God in a more completely sensory way. O Taste and See happened partly because of Paul Meier's own conflicting confusions and difficulties reconciling some Old Testament images and presentations of God's actions and nature with those of Jesus of Nazareth as the incarnate face of the Divine: "if you have seen me, if you know me, you have seen the Father, you know the Father."

With the very recent election of Pope Francis I and the worldwide buzz regarding the new Bishop of Rome's Francis of Assisi-type humility and demeanor, Pastor Meier's observation, "If the lives of ordinary people touched by the finger of God produced results like Saints Augustine, Dominic, and Francis, then other ordinary people must have the same opportunity to be transformed" rings loud and clear! In order to assist each of us on that journey of becoming transformed and in turn transforming the world, Paul Meier draws upon the style of Ignatius of Loyola's Spiritual Exercises.

From the start of Jesus' public ministry as recorded by the evangelist John, through Holy Week, and on to the post-resurrection walk along the road to Emmaus recorded by Luke, Paul Meier reflects upon thirty pericopes from the four canonical gospels ... but he doesn't include any actual resurrection accounts! For each scripture passage, his commentary suggests thoughts, actions, and reactions that might have occurred with people who were present at the time of the actual event. You imaginatively can read, feel, and sense yourself smack dab into the midst of the story, and live through your own growth in knowledge of the Divine through greater knowledge of the person of Jesus Christ. Since life is about story, why not place yourself in the stories of Jesus' earthly life, so Jesus then can become more present in the everyday interactions of your own life? It works both ways! I'd like to suggest starting a journal or notebook for recording your own experiences with these gospel vignettes.

In the "liberal [protestant and catholic] mainline" churches we sometimes emphasize our call in the Spirit to act in prophetic ways that further institutional and social justice more than we do that essential one-on-one, person-to-person relationship with Jesus, but as Pastor Paul quotes from Franciscan Richard Rohr, "We cannot just fall in love with abstractions, but only with concrete people and concrete moments and a personal God." The God who called Abraham, Moses, Amos, Peter, James, Andrew, and Paul to be God's redemptive, reconciling presence in the world; the God who calls us....

Psalm 34:8 encourages us to "O taste and see that the Lord is good." Reading and working through Paul Meier's most recent book can help us ordinary people experience more of God's goodness in a more sensory manner than usual. The DNA of God is Love. We recognize Jesus of Nazareth as the still-living enfleshment of God's love for us; may we also become lively embodiments of God's love in the world!

my amazon review: Tasting and Becoming the Goodness of God

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