As I continue my unbounded, free flowing transparency of thought regarding my 75 year spiritual journey, it seems I have tapped into the curiosity of an ever growing number of readers. One day I may write a book!
These last few months of "new every morning" thoughts have been quite challenging given my prior disciplineship. Being in the Book of Jeremiah doesn't help, given that I am sure at times, as with myself, Jeremiah may have asked, "God, do you really mean what I think you mean?"
You hear my assumption that a conversation can occur between a mortal and our Supreme Being, The Christ, who in the beginning was God, now resident in me through faith, by way of the person of the Holy Spirit.
That run-on sentence above was to clarify where I come from doctrinally, for those of you suspecting heresy!
As further insight into what drives me, my childhood was saturated with the reality of Spirit over everything material, though I have always loved nature. Then my academic career in the sciences simply reinforced that reality by way of the concepts of energy and matter. Creation seems to put so much in perspective, and by design I believe, though the latter is for sure subject for debate!
My last few days, though planned as a vacation to NYC, became far more than the Rockettes, Blues Brothers and the Macy's Parade.
I was mesmerized anew by the thoughts projected around the Big Bang as my grandkids and I spent one whole day walking through the NY Museum of Natural History (see prior blog, "When Denial Becomes a Detriment To The Good News!").
I gotta love my grandson John Luther's alignment with his Poppi's interests; his sister, Caroline equally gifted, but more the creative, color sparkle type, as is her Mimi, LaDonna!
None of the museum's amazing presentation and panorama was all that new to me, but to walk with a group of younger children, hearing questions asked and their depth of knowledge, contrasted with the relatively fixed narrative, both of our tour guide and the overtones always in my head of American Christianity, surely had me to thinking. These kids represent the Alpha Generation, even the name has implications!
If Creation is a revelation of spiritual truths (note my personal conviction that Christ was first manifest in Creation, then scripture text, now the Body of Christ), and if the Universe is ever expanding as we now have evidence of, how progressive must be the work that God is doing among mankind?
Religion however, with it's tendency toward status quo and control, moreso than affording a free flow of revelation and gifts of the Spirit as depicted within the Early Church, that's a problem! Sorry, my Pentecostal heritage has already demonstrated that as a possibility, thus my growing suspect of American Christianity.
Much of my urgency as I age is birthed by a single Word from the Lord on December 28, 2008, "My Church is in foreclosure!" I have now observed that phenomenon for fifteen years next month! Foreclosure is painful but good, as it is the means of recovery of valuable assets by the rightful owner, when contractual covenants have been violated. Think about that!
With our globe in crisis, the Institutional Church in decline, its impact far less obvious than in the days captured in scripture, I must assume, given the faithfulness experienced in my now long, personal journey, that this Being that presides over these millions of galaxies has a plan.
My guess as well, we have yet to fully understand the true nature of this Being described as love. Love by a definition best reflected as a caring, nurturing father, and yet also called, the breasted One, who like a mother, "covers us under His wings!" That is language too long now gender biased, and far different than we as humans tend to live out in terms of our care for each other!
The words of Jesus per the Gospel of John as he attempted to dispel the religious confusion resident in Nicodemus was simply, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." His last words even more profound, "It is finished!"
Peter then reinforces the good pleasure of God: "The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance."
Regardless of whether you see Genesis as an absolute historical synopsis of Creation, which is a stretch given our current understanding of the galaxies, or the best means of allegory for Moses, I will not argue.
Just keep in mind the moment and Moses' then limited basis of understanding (likely far greater at the Mount of Transfiguration) and the needs of the population to whom he was to convey such knowledge.
Religion makes everything difficult, relationship is more free, more revealing and love based!
The Good News is that God, a Being likely quite different in appearance than when "he became flesh and dwelt among us" is "able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we are able to ask or think." For those reasons, I will now spend less time defending the text, more time listening to the Spirit as I read the text.
As well, measuring the truth proclaimed by theologians up against the works of Christ and the fruit of the Spirit as manifest in their lives..."love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control."
You learn a lot over the decades working with clergy, many well-meaning and the best of men and women, but human all the same!
When my thoughts differ from others, as was the case with my friend Jeremiah, I'll humbly attempt to restrain my ego, and yet consider that given the margins of uncertainty that exist today between religion and science, "perhaps I'm not always all wet!!
Selah! (Father forgive any edits missed)!