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Science and Presence

Yesterday as I pondered my day, the necessity of leaving a legacy played hard in my mind. Today, a parallel concern, that of being remembered as a thinker, by those who some day read the words which I am now so compelled to capture.

My life journey has been so privileged, spanning early days when men ventured into the forest still hunting for food post-Depression, now well into a time when we are exploring millions of galaxies. Some, hoping for a less crowded place to live.

By way of the hunt, I learned to love nature. Then, life consequences caused us to relocate into an urban rental area. I was still able to manage my passion for nature by way of raising pigeons and show chickens. With another move, as Dad walked us out of poverty and into our first brick home, we found ourselves in somewhat of a suburban countryside. I was able to renew by love of nature by raising a pack of hounds, hunting in nearby fields.

That passion likely kept me focused in the field of Biology. Then as well, came an exposure to Chemistry and Physics.

The debt acquired during my college years, though minor relative to today, steered me toward an offer to teach Chemistry for a couple years, until a better paying job might open up. I soon enjoyed the classroom too much to leave, at least for 15 years.

I share all that with no intent to establish myself as a scientist, but those fifteen years provided quite an impact on the way I now think. Parallel with all that were the years that followed after marriage, my wife and I both experiencing quite an epiphany spiritually.

She had been raised Lutheran, her life bounded by the Catechism and a quite legalistic religious influence. Mine meanwhile, though equally legalistic was considerably more emotionally driven.

Yet with all that, we Pentecostals maintained an expectation of a demonstration of the gifts of the Spirit, equally with that shared by Luke, in the Book of Acts, later clarified by the Apostle Paul. Hear my sense of groundedness.

I had the privilege of actually witnessing the miraculous, while my wife in her cessationist environment, experienced a more lean, liturgical framework. Once we stepped back into church, the amalgam of the two was a wakeup call for both of us.

She was wowed by the gifts available and the strong Presence felt when emotion was allowed. While for me, a passion for a deeper understanding of the origin of scripture, untangling a lot of both her legalism and my literalist application, especially where science was too often down-played.

Fast forward to today, given my fifty years of various denominational exposure, I now also understand the degree to which the political prowess among power players has influenced the institution of church. Thus the divisions within the Body of Christ, each impassioned to defend their own doctrinal persuasion. Sadly, much of said doctrine, simply handed down to them under threat of penalty if questioned.

In that environment, apart from a life changing epiphany, there would seem little reason for the continuation of my engagement in the institution.

Yet I know the impact upon community that Christ followers who have experienced a life changing grace with their hearts softened by love, their purse impacted by generosity and their minds open to change.

That is what has driven the second window of my life, once I had left education, if that is at all possible for a human! Afterwards, a masters degree in community education and resource development opened my eyes to a larger vision than my congregational focus had earlier instilled.

Yet, never has the thread of scientific reasoning left my thought process, with regards to my theology, community engagement or understanding of congregational dynamics.

Hope you will keep reading, as I now circle back to legacy, and how I want to be seen decades from now by those who may read my thoughts.

Again, we are so fortunate to be alive in this moment. Some mornings, I seem "caught up in the clouds", though so unlike the one the disciples understood at the Ascension. Our privilege is a cloud of knowledge, with immediate access affording anyone an understanding of matter and energy, as well as spiritual insights well beyond the literal text of scripture.

All this affords reinterpretation of what men and women of old could have hardly been expected to grasp, even when inspired.

Though there are moments when YAHWEH seems to wink, providing prophetic insights far before their time, i.e., Isaiah 40:22.. The verse reads, "It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in."

Thought I just throw that in as well!

Back to the application of science, when I read such passages as Mark 9:3-4 with a full openess to what we now know relative to Mark's day, and even moreso of late compounded by recent discoveries provided the Hubble and Webb Telescopes, I hear new possibilities! Yes, even exciting realities as to what Mark could only intepret based on his "FaceTime" value.

"And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them. And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus."

As an historical aside, it seems that Mark was the first to capture his thoughts, followed by Matthew (appropriate plagiarism is evident) then Luke. John was coming from a totally different perspective. Yet, the three synoptic gospels aligned with John's bring a kaleidoscopic view of the Christ once assembled. That is a marvelous feat to say the least!

So, if we look at the Transfiguration and Ascension as described by all, then apply our current base of knowledge, the raiment of Jesus "shining, exceeding white" was likely the leaking of energy from between the very molecules that framed the body, the vessel containing the Christ. Perhaps a providential sneak peak at what was to come at the Ascension!

As well, the moment speaks volumes to the fact that we too are spiritual beings on a human journey. Why else pull Moses and Elijah back into play? Life is eternal and spiritual beings quite likely dwell among us, though in a different dimension, likely less vertical than Paul supposed in his Third Heaven concept.

Both the Transfiguration and the Ascension, with their surrounding cloud-like appearance, more likely a necessary disaasemblage of matter, than a disappearing into the sky upon a cloud!

Thus, that Third Heaven concept described by Paul 2 Corinthians 12, seems to validate the limitations of a human inspired, but with little scientific basis for true understanding.

Perhaps just as these ancient men, limited in knowledge, though dedicated to the point of martyrdom, layed a groundwork for our benefit, we should now be expanding upon that, open to the same Spirit, connecting two worlds, one material and fully physical, the other ethereal and spiritual, though both perhaps inhabiting the same space! That would explain felt Presence!

Both the Transfiguration and the Ascension leak such possibilities.

I hope one day when my descendents read these words, they hear a man willing to think outside the box with a heart fully held by the Spirit.


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A man of many talents and many hats 🎩 hope you have a wonderful weekend

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