When God chose to be with us, to dwell among us, God gave us light to shine through our darkness. The glory of Christian prayer arises from Jesus choosing to empty himself and be with us in the flesh. The Gospel comes primarily through reconciliation with God in Christ Jesus. There is more here than social roles. God, in introducing the commandments to Moses in Exodus, reminds Israel of their relation to him. He is their God that led them out of slavery. More than morals, Jesus as incarnate God brings us the reconciliation with God to the moments of our lives. All life can become prayer in the presence of God.
When I pray, I start by remembering how Jesus found me in Albuquerque when I was lost. When we enter here into relationship with the Living God, our lives suddenly matter in a cosmic sense. Tito’s brain surgery mattered to the eternal living God, because Jesus was with us. The eternal truth of Jesus being with us is nothing novel on my part, but simply the foundation of Christian prayer, Christian living, and essence of the Gospel. We sometimes forget this when we emphasize heaven as some other place. The point of Jesus is more than the afterlife; it’s the whole life within God’s love. The Kingdom of God is at hand now, Jesus says throughout the Gospels. He will be with us, even as we nail him to a cross. Easter is nothing if not God’s triumphant of over our violence. We can be with God because God chose us first. God risked the cross to be with us and continues to be with us after Easter, risking everything. We can recognize that the violence, the darkness is still among us, and yet, it has been overcome. We can love God and neighbor because of the life, cross and empty tomb of Jesus.
We can enter into an encounter with God because of God’s found us. We can risk beyond our roles with God, because God risked to be with us at the price of the cross.
When we enter prayer, we encounter God; we discover our inner most being; we are alive. When we are with God, God is with us and with binds us together in relationship. When we ask about the nature of with, we ask the ultimate question. We enter prayer. So we ask about with within our lives, we ground the most important question in our daily existence. The question of with leads to Jesus and prayer.
The Gospel defines being the in the presence of the Lord and being in the presence of love reveals the truth of love within our daily living. I search my stories and the Bible’s stories to find God. My story transforms by my daily encounter with Jesus in Scripture, life, and prayer. Our stories are the currency of love. Jesus calls us to risk relationship and be transformed by prayer.
These truths are living into by the very act of living. Jesus becomes the way as in a way of life. He is the truth as found in the midst of living, playing with Tito, making love to my wife and seeing his eyes in the other people I encounter. He is the life that makes the mundane eternal and the eternal beginning in the presence which then stretching toward infinity of time.
Art, says Ernesto Tinajero, comes from the border of what has come before and what is coming next. Tinajero uses his experience studying poetry and theology to write about the intersecting borders of art, poetry and religion.