Skip to main content

mystics

This is a church in Point Claire right on the St. Laurence River.

mystic - n. a follower or an expounder of a mystical way of life.

mystical - adj. 1. having a spiritual meaning or reality that is neither appparent to the senses nor obvious to the intelligence. 2. of, relating to, or resulting from an individual's direct communion with God or ultimate reality.

Dean said, "You are such a mystic," to me this weekend. I took it as a compliment, as I try to take most things that people say to me, even phrases like, "You are odd," and "Did you mean to do that?" But then I looked at the last few listings under the definition of "mystic" and they are: "unintelligible or cryptic." Hmmm. I don't like to be unintelligible. I suppose one of the most frustrating things is to be misunderstood. I said something to a friend last night and they totally misunderstood my intention and were offended by it. Oops. Fortunately, we know each other well enough that she brought it to my attention quite quickly and we were able to clear it up and laugh about how silly and sensitive and moody we were being. But still, misunderstandings suck. Most people will not give you the benefit of the doubt, they will just walk away and think bad and sometimes inaccurate things about you without giving you a chance to explain yourself. That's just not fair nor fun.

I guess God knows very well what it is like to be misunderstood and misrepresented and misinterpreted and mistaken for someone or something else. I have done it to him as have most people I know. I love understanding things, but I love mystery as well and when you are talking about human beings, there is always a lot of mystery involved. Relationships are not a science and too often I hear people express the desire to be able to disect and understand God before they believe in him or get to know him. Sorry, it does not work that way. Part of the beauty of relationship is the mystery and wonder of it and I wouldn't have it any other way. Let me be a beholder and wonderer of mystery instead of a judger and critic with what few and limited observations I have.

mystic - n. 4.c. inducing a feeling of awe or wonder.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

the songs we sing

NOTE: I am going to make some pretty strong statements below, but understand that it is my way of taking an honest, hard look at my own worship experience and practice. My desire is not to be overly critical, but to open up dialogue by questioning things I have assumed were totally fine and appropriate. In other words, I am preaching to myself. Feel free to listen in.

---------------------

When I am in a church meeting during the singing time, I sometimes find myself silent, unable to get the words past my lips. At times I just need a moment of stillness, time to listen, but other times, the words make me pause because I don't know that I can sing them honestly or with integrity. This is a good thing. We should never mindlessly or heartlessly sing songs just because everyone else is. We should care deeply about what we say in our sung, communal worship.

At their best, songs sung by the gathered body of Christ call to life what is already in us: the hope, the truth, the longing, t…

theology from the margins: God of Hagar

Our contexts have major implications for how we live our lives and engage with our world, that much is obvious. However, we sometimes overlook how much they inform our concepts of God. For those of us occupying the central or dominant demographic in society, we often associate God with power and truth. As a result, our theology is characterized by confidence, certainty, and an expectation that others should be accommodating. For those of us living on the margins of society, our sense of belonging stranded in ambiguity, God is seen as an advocate for the powerless. Our theology leans more toward inclusivity, and we talk less about divine holiness and righteousness and more about a God who suffers. On the margins, the priority is merciful and just action, not correct beliefs. 
There are significant theological incongruences between Christians who occupy the mainstream segment of society and those who exist on the margins. The world of theology has been dominated by Western male thought…

the movement of humility

We live in a context of stratification where much of society is ordered into separate layers or castes. We are identified as upper class, middle class, or lower class. Our language reflects this up/down (superior/inferior) paradigm. We want to be at the top of the heap, climb the ladder of success, break through the glass ceiling, be king of the hill. This same kind of thinking seeps into our theology. When we talk about humility, we think mostly think in terms of lowering ourselves, willfully participating in downward mobility. This type of up/down language is certainly present in biblical texts (James 4:10 is one example), but I believe that the kind of humility we see in Jesus requires that we step outside of a strictly up/down paradigm. Instead of viewing humility as getting down low or stepping down a notch on the ladder of society, perhaps it is more helpful to think in terms of proximity and movement.

Jesuit theologian, James Keenan, notes that virtues and vices are not really…