The Unbounded Man: For the 6th Sunday of Easter

“…the Father is greater than I.’’ John’s Gospel:14: 23-29

Student: “Where can I find God?”

Rabbi: “You will find god where you let god in.” 

Whew! Am I relieved.  Jesus is saying the Father is greater than He is because He is human, embodied. He is the same flesh, blood, tissue and brain as we are. He is subject to time, physical and emotional needs, culture, religion, politics, human relationships, all that which contributes to making a human a part of his or her world. As long as He lives in a human body He is a bound man or woman. We are like Him, constrained by the very fact of our biological existence.. 

And while our fathers and our generation has “slipped the surly bonds of earth …and put out (our) hands and touched the face of God,”* the journey outward to the heavens has also always been an inner one.

What makes Jesus different from many of us is that he has found the way to “let God In”. He has found the place where there is little or no separation between time and eternity, the particular and the infinite, his own being; the sad and happy soul who is God’s beloved Child and God.

In the fifty days of Easter, Jesus is no longer bounded by time or his body. He keeps on showing up to the disciples and even now he seems to keep on showing up with those of us who trust Him. He becomes the door through which we can look into the face of God and to not be blinded by the light.

God can “get in” in a billion ways. God is wise and imaginative beyond our comprehension. It is helpful for me to be able to see God through Jesus. He focuses the abundant and ever-expanding idea of God in a particular person. God permits himself to be grounded for this short span of time so we might witness what God has in mind for a perfect human being. Would any of us still believe unless we had witnessed that perfected reflection of Jesus in so many of those who follow in his steps: the self-giving ones, the compassionate, those who walk humbly with God and who desire justice much tempered with mercy?

In Boston and in Newtown, wherever there is need, we are drawn like bees to blossoms by those who give of themselves out of compassion. In such ways we give God entry and are enticed to live with more and more skillful compassion.


*Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth, And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth Of sun-split clouds-and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of – wheeled and soared and swung High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung My eager craft through footless halls of air.

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace, Where never the lark, nor even eagle flew – And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod The high, untrespassed sanctity of space, Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

John Gillespie Magee (1922-1941) A Canadian Spitfire pilot in the Battle of Britain

The 19 year old Canadian captured the spirit of the age in his Ode to flight. Blessings on him and all who fly into space and into the heart of God.


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