Promises, Promises, Promises

Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent

I will maintain my covenant with you and our descendants after you throughout the ages as an everlasting pact, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you….  Genesis 17

Jesus said, “I solemnly assure you, if a person is true to my word, that person shall never see death.” John 8

The readings today are about promises: God promising Abraham that he will father a great nation; Jesus promising his followers that they will never see death. Promises. Abraham’s descendents have split into Sunni and Shi’a and Jews, each branch having a multitude of branches from conservative to liberal; and Jesus, who was a Jew, founded descendents who have split into more branches and denominations than can be counted. All of which, by the way, battle with each other declaring that their way is the true way.

What becomes of a fragmented promise? Is it still a promise? Do we believe all of the promise or only the part that belongs to us? If a fragmented promise is to be believed at all, it must be believed FOR all. Everyone has God on their side. Why do we fight so to prove otherwise?

What is a promise – between one person and another; between God-Spirit and people? Even more interesting, what is your promise, one person’s promise, with God-Spirit?

That which we consider spirit, regardless of the name we use, resides in each of us. God said to Moses, “I AM.” Jesus said to Pilate, “I Am.” Millard Fillmore, an early new-thought teacher, said that I Am exists in the center of each of us, and when we say, I am angry, or I am fed up with, or I am tired, hurt, disgusted, we are taking God’s name in vain.

Our language of frustration takes God’s name in vain. Our language of frustration, promises our future. Where does that leave our promise with God-Spirit?

Have you promised that you will always be a failure, always be trapped in your life, always feel put-upon and unsatisfied? Have you promised that the people you work with are the problem on your job? Have you promised that the world or democracy or freedom or sanity is ending?

Take some time today, even a few moments, to contemplate your own I AM. Are you open to the promises or have you closed off that channel of hope?

What new promise you make today with I AM?

8 thoughts on “Promises, Promises, Promises

  1. Janet, very valuable thoughts and suggested reflections.
    Valorie, I admire your covenant with yourself and G_d.
    Personally, I fear my reflections are shallow because all that occurs to me is Popeye. “I yam what I yam”

  2. I’d never thought of it like that, Janet. Thanks. I’ll think about what you’ve said here. But are you suggesting that we should only acknowledge the positive ‘I Am’s’ and ignore the negative ones?

    1. Maybe I’m not fully understanding what you mean, Madison, but in general, I tend to notice the negatives (I’m tired, I’m worried, I’m feeling low) and accept them, but not hold on to them. In other words, I allow without getting stuck in the negatives. But perhaps you had something else in mind. If you want, you can email me.

      1. After thinking about it, I understand better. What I think is that it’s good to acknowledge the negative feelings – but to say I feel one way is not the same as saying I AM that way. To say I AM is an affirmation, and I don’t want to affirm the negative. That’s what I meant. Does it make sense?

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