I've found myself thinking of the idea that the Inner Light and the original Quakers were focused on sin and redemption. And certainly they made their blog posts decrying the sinful natures of towns and churches and politicians.
There's plenty of fuel for modern Friends who want to blog on the errors of others, on the moral decadence of our culture, on the failings of our Meetings, and so forth. Criticism is an easy game, and self-righteousness such a comfortable trap.
I find myself thinking, though, of George Fox's charge that we walk cheerfully over the Earth, answering that of God in everyone. That does not sound, to me, like the voice of a man eager to find fault in his fellows. Instead, it sounds like a person who sees the good -- the God -- in everyone, and speaks to what is finest in them.
I find myself thinking of the letters that early Friends wrote, reminding one another to hold to the Seed of God, to treasure it and to abide by it. They don't write as if they're engaged in a grim duty, but as though they are drunk on the beauty of the Holy Spirit.
Often, after Meeting, I am drunk on the beauty and love of the Holy Spirit. In my Joy, I am one with the Divine. Ecstatic with the mystic touch of God.
In that space, there is no room for semantic games. No place for one-upmanship. No room for sin. The Spirit has filled me up, and the Light has left no room for evil.
The word "surrender" comes from the French se rendre -- to give one's self up. It seems to me that the early Friends were talking about giving themselves up to God, that they were talking of the ecstasy that comes of walking in the Light and surrendering themselves to the Truth that comes inwardly from God.
They wanted to be Christ's disciples, the Friends of Jesus Christ. Not the followers of the words written in the Bible or of the path set forth by the church, but comrades who eat with God and sleep with God and wash dishes with God. Right now, this minute, in my mundane existence, what is it that God asks of me?
In the blogosphere, we must use words, but words are great deceivers. They can lead us from unity into semantics, from the living flesh of God to the empty icon used to represent him. It is too easy to mistake the symbol for the reality, to cleave to the empty shell rather than the living Light.
Let us sit together in silence, Friends, and welcome that which is eternal.