According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for
this world to recreate, reclaim, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of
explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. - anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. - anon
... Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument.
There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is
irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a
power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table
to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace,
reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants
us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. - anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul

Monday, June 11, 2012

Love, Marriage and Mutuality


In place of rules, an atmosphere of
respect and mutuality has developed.


Love gets the duties done
http://www.mlive.com/living/grand-rapids/index.ssf/rabbi_albert_lewis_columns/index_2.html

by Rabbi Albert Lewis
The Grand Rapids Press
June 7, 2012

In the year 2000, Shirley and I bought and designed a new condo.

We looked at model A and model B and created model C. We picked each fixture and nob and were fortunate to build just what we wanted.

Over the years, we have done some remodeling and added to our dream home.

While talking recently, we realized there are no rules about how we live in our home (except the very clear ones when the grandchildren come and have to be reminded about their responsibilities). In place of rules, an atmosphere of respect and mutuality has developed, and tasks are accomplished more out of love than assignment.

Laundry and the dishwasher, two unexciting tasks, are addressed by both of us. If one of us sees washing that needs to be dried or sorted, we do it.

The dishwasher is unloaded by whoever gets up first in the morning or is least
hu rried. We love to cook together and to share the responsibilities of the kitchen — including the cleanup. We even thank one another for what the other has done. It isn’t necessary, but always appreciated.

And it sends a message that we appreciate one an other.

Of course, there
are occasions when there are tasks I don’t see as clearly as Shirley, but we accomplish them because we have chosen to make a house into a loving home. That didn’t happen overnight.

In this home, there have been hours of conversation, agreement, understanding and misunderstanding to reach a place of deep respect. Everything that happens in our lives is worth talking about. We even have certain places we prefer to sit to talk about issues that are
most important to us. Fears, disappointments, joys and dreams all find space in our home and in our hearts.

And, after almost 50 years of marriage, we continue to find ways to be more sensitive to one another.

Love and deep mu tual respect evolve, but they are not simply the results of time. My experience has taught me that a truly deep and intimate marriage takes work and a willingness to examine oneself. Over the years, needs, desires, abilities and interests change. All this needs to be brought to the place where we sit and talk.

Friedrich Nietzsche wrote: “The best friend is likely to acquire the best wife, because a good marriage is based on the talent for friendship.”

Shirley is my best friend, strongest supporter and most trusted critic. In this home we occupy and sanctify together, all emotions and thoughts are shared and weighed.

Sometimes, it’ s painful to hear about how we may have disappointed one another, yet it is thrilling to know that we have made one another happy — that we know in our deepest selves we are loved. An anonymous writer noted, “A house is made of walls and beams; a home is built with love and dreams.”

With much gratitude and appreciation, we live in such a home.

Albert M. Lewis is rabbi emeritus of Temple Emanuel in Grand Rapids and author of “Soul Sounds: Reflections on Life,” available at soulsoundsbook.com. Email him at