For March 10
Instead of seeing God as distinct and distant from the world, we are acquiring a new awareness that the universe itself is God’s body, a complex and diverse interdependent organism, animated by God’s breath, the spirit of creation. We are with God and God is with us because – and some people may find this shocking – we are in God and God is in us. Maybe the far-off heavenly Father is finally retiring, replaced by a far more down-to-earth presence named in Hebrew and Christian Scriptures as both love and spirit. I once heard poet Wendell Berry remark, ‘The idea of heaven doesn’t take religion very far,’ because the distance makes far too great an abstraction. ‘Love,’ as the very being of God, he continued. ‘has to wear a face.’ And that ‘face’ is ‘our neighbourhood, our neighbours and other creatures, the earth and its inhabitants.’ ~ Diana Butler Bass
I am reading Diana Butler Bass’ book Grounded as a part of a Lenten Study. It is a good book and I commend it to your reading. Among other Things Butler Bass challenges the vertical orientation that we have for God and God’s relationship with us. Instead she contends, God is grounded among us. God is manifest in dirt, in water, in roots, in sky, neighbours. The excerpt above suggests that perhaps the far off ‘Father in heaven’ has retired and is now calling us to understand how very present he/she is in and around us every day.
Jesus has a pretty good command of this. He called the people to pray for the kingdom to come. That we keep praying to get to the kingdom instead is a rich you must admit.
What face is God wearing for you?
Kevin: All of your Lenten blogs have been good reading and provocative. You should become an agent for Amazon Books! You remind all that there is much good reading to hone one’s faith.
God is in the face of someone who needs you and he is in the beauty of new snowbells blooming but, tonight, I looked up and saw what a wonderful sky he had painted with streaks of pink and hues of orange purple and blue. What a wonderful world, He creates. We receive daily treasures for us in His word and in the world. I am also reminded of his words as Paul wrote them in 2Corninthians 5:17 “if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! All this is from God,”