Sitting here this morning contemplating more than my navel, though at times I do notice some accumulated "lent." No that is not a mispelling of the word, lint, but rather an intentional pun, only after spellcheck brought it to bear! Even she/he knows my spiritual proclivity (love that fancy word).
I seem to be in some kind of a transition in my core beliefs relative to the Institutional Church, as late as yesterday, having spoken to a dear congregation, one influential in my spiritual passage.
The formal title of my messsage was Spiritual Pedagogy and a GED Certificate. Somewhat in jest, I was implying that we clergy may have dropped out of school before the God of these millions of Galaxies finished his very progressive revelation. Pardon the pronoun.
I knew I was in heretic territory, so I was sure to say that God, who was the Word become flesh, yes, the Christ as revealed in the man, Jesus does not change. However, the progressive revelation has been historically documented, at least it now seems that way to me.
I realize the political high-jacking that has occurred around the word "progressive." That doesn't mean I have to run from it, if that language better communicates my personal experience with the Christ, the scriptures, the Institutional Church and the marketplace, all sacred to be me.
Yesterday I shared a timelime as evidence of what appears to be a 300-500 multi-generational necessity for God to "move the needle" of Theology among we humans.
-From Moses (author of Genesis, a multi-generational thesis) to Solomon was 480 years;
-Solomon to Cyrus approx. the same;
-The second Temple until Jesus' birth about 500 years;
-Jesus to Constantine 330 years. Why Constantine, it seems he gave political sanction to the Christian movement and the availability of the Canon by way of church father Eusebius (likely out my league here);
-That took us a good ways but then in 1054 A.D. the Great Schism between Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox faiths;
-By1413 Hus was burned at stake, then Luther 1517 nails up his 96 items, which launched the Protestant Reformation
-Now in 2023 we find the Institutional Church struggling under the weight of five generations from Boomers to Alpha, six if you cout my dad at age 98, the Silent generation.
I am told that less than 37% of millenials even see church as beneficial though many of these "None" are believers.
What a moment to be alive, yet quite strange all the global tension. Many are simply praying for an exit from the globe, as I am sure has been the case mant times before.
About every 500 years something seems to erupt that exposes the tendency for religion to set dogma in stone. Then, a shift occurs followed by an "aHa! Moment", once tweaking the means, even war or martyrdom is insufficient or becomes detrimental to communication of the Gospel. God is faithful and yes, progressive in his revelation.
We seem to be there again, when the only thing folk desire is love. Well, God is love and when that is no longer felt or communicated by the Body of Christ, chaos is likely.
Second to love is acceptance and meaning beyond mere survival, though the latter is also being tested by way of the growing wealth gap, environmental challenges, food desserts, gender struggles and on top of that AI, and the growing fear of the digital unknown.
Like I said, all this is feeling a little strange to this "pilgrim". Maybe we need a new tongue, a new language, like on the day of Pentecost, as all then understood!
God get us/me there once more, the cry I heard also from those wiith whom I shared yesterday.