Skip to main content

the coming and the doing


Yesterday in church, while I was attempting to make the announcements while lying on the floor (don't ask, I do have silly ideas sometimes), I felt overwhelmed by God's presence and began to weep. I didn't know what to do except pay attention to what he was doing and not leave the place I was in, so I did just that and Dean managed to handle the announcements himself for the most part and I hope the visitors weren't too freaked out.

The thing God kept saying over and over to me was, "Come, come, come! You choose to do everything else first, you go lots of places, you turn to many people and things before me, but I am here, waiting. Come! I want you to come to me, I am here for you!" It is true. When I get a rather large list of things I need to accomplish or I am surrounded by activity, I start down the busy road and before I know it, the day is pretty much over and I have yet to connect with God.

Today, the day after God asked me to "Come," my tasks were many. I wish I could say that I heard and obeyed and spent the first part of my day sitting with God and getting his input on everything, but I jumped right into my job list and 11 hours later, I still have a few to complete before I can relax. I also don't take time for meals a lot of days and that is a symptom of the same problem: I think doing stuff is more important because it gives me a sense of accomplishment and I can point to it and say, "Hey, I am a useful member of society and I pull my weight, even if I don't have a recognised career or a handsome income!" But all of my efforts are worth little if I do not have the strength to carry on or the spiritual depth to give any of it meaning and true value and perspective.

God really is not all that interested in my hard work or tireless efforts: he wants my heart, my friendship, my company, and to go for a walk in the garden with me like he did with Adam. The hard work came as a result of sin, of not relying on God, of wanting to order our own universe instead of going with his well-established plan, of not coming to him but hiding in our doings and anything else we could find. Will I continue to live like that self-reliant Adam, or will I believe that Jesus somehow reversed this cursed substitute value system of labour and walk with him anytime he says come?

This is an insubstantial photo of my friend, Cathy, on a trail near Dundas, Ontario.

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…