The Muslim mystic, Rabl’a said, “To love God, not because of powerful institutions, or even because God commands it, but to do so in an act of unencumbered freedom, is the very source of mystical relationship.”
There is a gulf between theology [rational knowledge of God] and mysticism [experience of God]. Another Muslim mystic and martyr from the 10ce[922ce] called Mansur al-Hallaj taught passionate, overflowing love as the heart of the divine being instead of blind imitation and obedience. Such love is the mystery of creation. He said, “Whoever seeks God runs ahead of God’s revelations, but whomever God seeks has revelations overtaking his running.” This is what God does for children and explains their experiences of God.
John of the Cross wrote that God does not reserve the calling to contemplation to particular souls. On the contrary, God hopes all will embrace it.
We heard last week that Moses asked God to let him know God more and we heard God’s response in giving him a vision of God’s goodness. How well do we know God’s goodness? Meister Eckhart, a Christian mystic put it we have “not been created for small things.” Contemplating this is both exciting and daunting.
We are invited into a mutual relationship of love with God and then when we have been loved, we will be equipped for the sometimes enormously difficult task of loving our neighbours and ourselves.
Rev Julianne Parker
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