Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Speaking of God...

I love it when I read scripture,and something new about God comes alive to me, the nature of who he is. This is often called revelation of course, and I think that it can be found almost everywhere. I realise this may have been taken to the extreme (though Im lost for examples of that) and some may find it somewhat heretical if we speak of revelation in God's word in equality to the revelation for example in God's creation. I imagine this negative reaction has come about due to people adding their own crazy twist to their interpretation to extra-spiritual revelation. In some ways I can understand negative reaction to "crack pot" ideas that people attempt to attach to established doctrines of the Church, but for a moment (I say this to myself in writing this as much as anyone reading it) lets let go of the worry that someone will destroy the truth (Im not asking us to abandon the pursuit of keeping purely scriptural theology, just asking us to loosen the grip and allow ourselves not to have the monopoly on the mind of God I addressed that here earlier this week. I love to see art, music, film, writing, anything creative (and if humans are involved, things, even the most mundane have a creative aspect to them) that speaks to me something about God, sometimes it shouts it, sometimes its just being whispered. But almost everything creative is inspired and created through the creator, the one that creativity began in, through and continues with. He is the one that made the ultimate act of creativity,and everytime a chord is played, a piece of prose is written and a picture is painted, something in it, quietly or loudly allures to the order, and beauty of the original creator. Every experience of beauty points to Eternity - Hans Urs Von Balthasar Often creativity has been perverted, and so often satan seeks out ways to put a twist on the best things, mix a lie up in some truth, or point good intentions down the wrong directions. We see it particularly clearly in religious devotion, essentially a good practice,to give ourselves to the things of God, but how easily our intentions slip and we begin to do things that originated out of love and worship, and do them out of duty and image itself. In the midst of the madness of work, the business of theology for study, I try and read something relational, pastoral, fictional, anything that has the focus of enriching, or edifying me, whether through speaking of the heart of God, or simply letting me escape somewhere to rest, over the last little while I have been reading (less rather than more unfortunaly) Captivating, which has been around for a while and was one of the those books I always "intended" to read! John Eldredge (who wrote Wild at Heart) and his wife Stasi Elderedge, share some thoughts concerning the God's plan for the feminine heart. They speak about how God speaks about himself through the distinct ways in which he has created men and women. "For Adam is captured best in motion, doing something. His essence is strength in action. That is what he speaks to the world. He bears the image of God, who is a warrior. On behalf of God, Adam says "God will come through. God is on the move" - Captivating pg36. As the book is written primarily in relation to women, there is not quite such a succinct passage regarding women, but the book (so far as you can see im not past the second chapter) challenges us to look at women (as men or at ourselves as women) and say what is she telling me about who God is? I have done this many times in music, creation, writing,and painting but Ive never done it in relation to gender! The immediate things that come to note are that Women are beautiful, they desire to be loved, they are relational, and that their relational status is much of the time how they give find self-worth. For example the breakdown of a relationship or friendship is normally alot more emotional for women, as Men will often although affected by it not be shaken to the same depths because they dont give the same value, or meaning to the relationship/friendship. Men often find themselves self worth in the "doing" of things, the busyness of employment, the playing of sport. It is not that either male or female are boxed into only finding their self worth in those examples, but that primarily Men and Women find their self worth, and attach values in different ways and to varying degrees. Try looking at different people today, different works of creativity, even the smallest of things,and ask yourself, What can I learn about God? Often you will find parables which allure to God and his kingdom, exist all around us.


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