This Easter, a homecoming.

April 3, 2021

This photo by unknown author is licensed under CC BY-SA

Genesis 1:1-2:4a [The Story of Creation] Genesis 7:1-5, 11-18, 8:6-18, 9:8-13 [The Flood] Genesis 22:1-18 [Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac] Exodus 14:10-31; 15:20-21 [Israel’s deliverance at the Red Sea]  | Isaiah 55:1-11 [Salvation offered freely to all] Baruch 3:9-15, 3:32-4:4 or Proverbs 8:1-8, 19-21; 9:4b-6 [Learn wisdom and live]Ezekiel 36:24-28 [A new heart and a new spirit] Ezekiel 37:1-14 [The valley of dry bones] Zephaniah 3:14-20 [The gathering of God’s people] Romans 6:3-11 Psalm 114 | Mark 16:1-8

The reading today begins with Genesis and the story of creation. I am particularly partial to this passage…

Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”

So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

My interpretation of this passage is that God meant that only humans would possess the capacity for reason, morality, language, spirituality, personality, and purpose. Out of these traits I am mostly drawn to morality and spirituality, they are unique and special to humans (although those of you who know my dog Rhody could argue), I believe that God bestowed on us the capacity to not only experience but also understand beauty, truth and love. Yes, especially God’s love. All we have to do is pay attention, pay close attention to the Saints and the Mystics. There are so many among us.

After a year that has left many isolated, exhausted, angry, depressed, and confused, I feel that our hope lies in the desire to connect with the sacred. God meets us where we are. With the chaos in our world this past year, I found it even more of a priority to access all the mystical, the beauty, the love, the wisdom I could find.

Across all of time there have always been Mystics among us. They have shared with the world great scripture, beautiful poetry, moving music and acts of kindness that defy comprehension. They come in all forms, although some would have you believe otherwise. They have been quite ordinary and often flawed. Mystics are often the troublemakers of history. What they have in common is that they deliver the truth, their message is provocative and awakening. Their message stands the test of time.

As we approach Easter this year there are signs of new birth everywhere. There are more of us moving about, the tress are turning away from the grey and showing their first hint of color. We are beginning to breathe safely again…deeply. There is an awakening that somehow means more this year than ever before. There is a call to return to, experience, reclaim our longing to commune with each other and the scared heart of our existence, God. There is in a sense this Easter, a homecoming.

One practice that I observe regularly is called The Seven Homecomings. It is a practice taught by Tibetan Buddhist Lama Rod Owens. He invites us to recognize and honor our own Mystics or as he refers to them “circle of care.”

These instructions are just a template; let this practice change to meet your needs. Pause briefly between each section…if it helps write them done in the from of ascending circles.

  • Begin contemplating the first homecoming of the guide. Reflect on any being who has been a guide, a teacher, a mentor, an adviser, or an elder for you. Reflect on the beings in your life whom you’ve gone to for guidance and support…Invite them to gather around you in a circle and say welcome. Relax. Inhale. Exhale and come home to being held by your guides.
  • The second homecoming is your wisdom texts. Reflect on any text that has helped you to deepen your wisdom. These texts can include any writing, books, teachings, sacred scriptures…that have helped you to experience clarity, openness, love, and compassion…Welcome your texts. Relax. Inhale. Exhale and come home to being held by your wisdom texts.
  • The third homecoming is community. Begin by reflecting about the communities, groups, and spaces where you experience love or the feeling of being accepted and supported in being happy…Where do you feel safe to love? Where are you being loved?…Say welcome to your communities. Relax. Inhale. Exhale and come home to being held by your communities.
  • The fourth homecoming is your ancestors. Begin by reflecting on those ancestors who have wanted the best for you, including wanting you to be happy and safe. You don’t need to know who those ancestors are…Also reflect on the lineages you feel connected to, like the lineage of your spiritual tradition, or tradition of art or activism…As you invite your ancestors, remember that you too are in the process of becoming an ancestor…Say welcome to your ancestors and lineages. Relax. Inhale. Exhale and come home to being held by your ancestors and lineages.
  • The fifth homecoming is the earth. Begin by reflecting on…how the earth sustains your life and the lives of countless beings…Coming home to the earth means touching the earth, acknowledging the earth…and allowing it to hold you and, as it holds you, understanding that it is loving you as well…Say welcome to the earth. Relax. Inhale. Exhale and come home to being held by the earth.
  • The sixth homecoming is silence. Begin by reflecting on the generosity of silence as something that helps you to have the space to be with yourself… Reflect on how you can embrace silence as a friend and/or lover invested in your health and well-being…Say welcome to the silence. Relax. Inhale. Exhale and come home to being held by the silence.
  • Finally, the seventh homecoming is yourself. Begin by reflecting on your experiences of your mind and body. Consider how your experiences are valuable, important, and crucial. Invite all the parts of yourself into your awareness, including the parts of yourself that you may not always accept or seem overwhelming…Say welcome to yourself. Relax. Inhale. Exhale and come home to yourself…

Now imagine that your circle of benefactors begins to dissolve into white light, and gather that white light into your heart center. Rest your mind and relax. A homecoming.

Yes, we are created in the Image of God…all of us. What a gift, what an honor to receive. We must do all we can to live up to this. I believe this begins with noticing, paying attention, having a practice that allows us to go out by first going in. This year allowed me to do just this, and while I will continue to mourn for all who were lost and all that was lost, I am grateful for the great gift of time and quiet that allowed me to really listen to the Mystics, grow and heal. Know this, there are Saints and Mystics among you. Stop, notice, pray for a clear heart and mind to see clearly what God has created in her image.

I am so looking forward to the day to be among all you Saints and Mystics.

Be well

Theresa Deiters Muscat