Dear Glen Mar friends,
'Give me a place to stand, and I will move the whole earth with a lever.' -Archimedes
Archimedes (c. 287-c. 212 BCE), a Greek philosopher and mathematician, noticed that if a lever was balanced in the correct place, on the correct fulcrum, it could move proportionally much greater weights than the force actually applied. He calculated that if the lever stretched far enough and the fulcrum point remained fixed close to Earth, even a small weight at one end would be able to move the world at the other.
The fixed point is our place to stand. It is a contemplative stance: steady, centered, poised, and rooted. To be contemplative, we have to have a slight distance from the world to allow time for withdrawal from business as usual, for contemplation, for going into what Jesus calls our "private room" (Matthew 6:6). However, in order for this not to become escapism, we have to remain quite close to the world at the same time, loving it, feeling its pain and its joy as our pain and our joy. The fulcrum, that balancing point, must be in the real world.
That's from Richard Rohr's devotional for 12/30. As we look to 2021, I'm grateful for a place to stand, in God's Word, in prayer, in life in community with brothers and sisters in Christ at Glen Mar. May we bathe this year with spiritual practices that ground us in Christ's Lordship, and our own baptismal vows, and may we stand close to the world's need, loving it, feeling the pain and joy of our neighbors and sharing in it. From that posture, Christ can use us to move the world.
This Sunday, I'll be preaching on the Magi ("In a Different Light") and the difference Jesus makes, especially in a new year and a new start. We'll share in Holy Communion online. And we'll wipe the slate clean on the old year, and turn toward the light of Christ for a new year.
See you "online,"