Release the Walled-In God



For centuries in November Christians have celebrated the feast of Christ the King. And for centuries this feast about a kindom “not of this world” has been entrapped in the trappings of an earthly kingdom characterized by wealth and domination. The image of Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey is rarely preached. We like the image of kings and queens. We feel comfortable with it. Why else would our friends in Great Britain be placing bets on the gender and name of the expected royal? 

You have read in these posts before a quote from Meister Eckhart, the great medieval Dominican mystic,”I pray god that he quit me of god.” May we replace these false, self-serving images of god with images such as the “drifting mist that brought forth the morning,” suggests Rainier Maria Rilke in this lovely poem.

We must not portray you in king’s robes,
you drifting mist that brought forth the morning.
Once again from the old paintboxes
we take the same gold for scepter and crown
that has disguised you through the ages.
Piously we produce our images of you
till they stand around you like a thousand walls.
And when our hearts would simply open,
our fervent hands hide you.

Rainer Maria Rilke, I, 4
in Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love poems to God, trans. Anita Barrows and Joanna Macey


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