Tag Archive | God

We Are Worth Dying For

tall tree“The theology of the cross … is nevertheless first of all a statement about God, and what it says about God is not that God thinks humankind so wretched that it deserves death and hell, but that God thinks humankind and the whole creation so good, so beautiful, so precious in its intention and its potentiality, that its actualization, its fulfillment, its redemption is worth dying for.”

leaves and sky— Douglas John Hall (The Cross in Our Context: Jesus and the Suffering World. 2003. Minneapolis: Fortress)

🙂  I picked this up from the doctoral paper of Mary Christine Lohr entitled Finding a Lutheran Theology of Religions: Ecclesial Traditions and Interfaith Dialogue submitted to the University of Exeter in 2009  🙂

I can’t get enough of reading the part God thinks humankind and the whole creation so good, so beautiful, so precious in its intention and its potentiality, that its actualization, its fulfillment, its redemption is worth dying for again and again. I can’t help but be emotional while I think of the biosphere with all the rain forests and the fauna therein, white and yellow plumeriaall the continents and the peoples in their varied songs and dances, all the music of articulated languages, all the dreams recorded in words and works of art and thriving organizations, all the curiosity bursting forth in scientific theories, inventions and space exploration that has now reached beyond the Solar System. The human is beautiful. The biosphere is wonderful. To see that it is so is just as lovely.

Months ago I met a physicist who was a bit at a loss for words when I asked point blank on his views on the world-apparently-being-slowly-destroyed. fall magicFrom his response I gathered that there are movements in nature that we haven’t perceived yet. He seemed to tell me that science knows that what we have found out for now is not enough to speak of what’s real. I felt then that I was listening to a scientist who had been humbled by what he has so far perceived of the structure of nature. I also felt that there was a hint of naive hope in his tone. In turn, I, too, was humbled in that I saw my ‘greediness’ in wanting to put markers and pointers and enclosures to things and phenomena in accommodating them into my scheme of understanding.

I understood a bit more then of how I could not do that with Creation. Creation is awesome, and that’s why it’s beautiful. Something that leaves us awestruck isn’t something that can be easily boxed, a mountain village reflectednor can even be boxed at all. Life and living cannot be outlined just within sociological formulations, nor ideological dogmas, nor faith systems that render us constrained and betrayed. Especially that Creation is a reflection of God.

There’s got to be more to Creation than just objects that ‘need’ to be defined, classified, organized, and manipulated. In the phenomenon of the Cross is a picture that could help make it clear to us how radical the valuing of Life, of Being, is…

…may everyone of us find that which keeps us breathing, gives us space for growth, and so Live…

[Thank you to the webpages where I got the pictures above from. Peace.]           

A Prayer Before Sleeping

Dear God

thank you for the dayDSCF2148 c

thank you for the many things that happened today

please take care of my mom, and my sister,

and my brother, and his family,

and my uncles and aunts, and my cousins,

DSCF2148and my friends,

and my enemies,

and the rich people,

and the poor people,

everyone in the world.

Thank you that there is you being with us,

for holding the world in your hands.

I don’t have a gut understanding of “worshipping you”

so I can’t really say “I worship you”,

and I really don’t mind that I don’t have a feeling for what it means,

but what I know is that I am thankful

that you have made us like this,DSCF2148 b

that you have allowed us to live, as humans,

that we are alive in this world.

Because it’s beautiful, living in this world,

being able to feel in so many ways,

happiness, sadness, pain, failure, triumph, want, need,

being able to see, being afraid, savoring all that life has to offer,

just being human, putting us in a place you’ve prepared for us,

and there being you.

Amen.

“reality” is always in relative motion

an excerpt:

“One of the major issues, if not indeed the key area of biblical theology today, as was true of the Biblical Theology Movement’s earlier experience, is the attempt to understand the Bible from the perspective of a unifying principle, regardless of how it is defined. Biblical theology as practiced in the 1990s remains concerned with the issue of a center, a unifying principle, an overarching category. This issue will be part of the discussion of major models and proposals for biblical theology to be presented […]” — by Gerhard F. Hasel / “The Nature of Biblical Theology: Recent Trends and Issues”. Andrews University Studies, Autumn 1994, Vol. 32, No. 3, 203-215.

————- sacadalang’s take as of 24Feb2012 on the above article: —————-

Science is a primitive (i.e., simplistic) in the sense that it quantifies.

          A phenomenon quantified with finality has in itself no room for “movement.” It becomes a fixed reference, and so a quasi-absolute.

However, only “God” is “absolute” (though not in the sense that He has no “movement”).

“Reality” is always in relative motion, including the perception of “God”. A “unified” concept of anything touching on the human, as the image of God, is an illusion. As long as man exists in his/her state now no such “unification” is seen to be possible. (pending the reading of the 2nd & 3rd sections of this article)

efficiency, too, is a god

 

————————————————————————————————- ————————————————————————————————————–

That man is a success
who has lived well, laughed often and loved much;
who has gained the respect of intelligent men
and the love of children;
who has filled his niche
and accomplished his task;
who leaves the world better than he found it
whether by a perfect poem
or a rescued soul;
who never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty
or failed to express it;
who looked for the best in others
and gave the best he had.
Robert Louis Stevenson

————————————————————————————————-

Success has become a god that rules over many aspects of our lives — education, business, politics, sports, to name some. If we devote ourselves to success in one of its many concrete forms, if we pursue achievement with great zeal, we are convinced we can fulfill our life’s purposes. We do not care much that our success often depends on another’s failure. We do not see that the crucial factor is the honest effort we make rather than the result we achieve. Success is a contemporary god. It demands, and often receives, the exclusive service the Mosaic covenant reserves to God alone.” — (The Idolatry of Success) “Out of the House of Slavery: On the Meaning of the Ten Commandments” by Brian A. Haggerty (1978) p.29-30.

to dig is to see the surface

dogwood cutI wanted to get back to my roots because I thought that’s the only way to paint the correct picture. There’s so much to learn. It’s overwhelming. There are so many perspectives. There are so many desires and hopes and dreams. So many wishes. And plans. In the past. In the now. To do something. To prevent something. To participate. Be a branch. A hand. A leaf, even.

I have already started to dig. What I have dug. At each stage. I was struck by the passion, the convictions, the visions, the integrity of purpose I uncovered, between the lines.

Many sincere souls have already come and gone, and yet, the forces that they opposed still proliferate. Greed. Callousness. Hedonism. Pride and Self-righteousness. Exclusivism. Views that polarize. Mahatma Gandhi — we need what you had. We need the brilliance of your honesty. To self. To people. To life. You were like that Jesus who lived in Nazareth, the one who spoke what was needed to be spoken. The one who wanted people to listen to him, on what should be. But, Mahatma, Jesus, great souls, people still would choose to be deaf even when truth is already crying out loud.

I have already started to dig. But, my God, there is too much already buried underneath. How do I sift through all the rubble that are getting in the way? How do I piece together all the pictures, from below, from here, from beyond, from the not yet?

Pictures keep shifting, like shadows, like water, like light between trees’ leaves. The perspectives are kaleidoscopic. To mortals who aim for the absolute, it is hopeless.

I remembered the Garden of Eden, when God warned against eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Violators will die — be expelled — be separated from where the Tree of Life is. I tried to get hold of this part of the kaleidoscope for me. And I understood. My God, I understood.

daisyIt is this. That. Man is crazy to want to really get hold of THE KNOWLEDGE. OF. GOOD. and evil. This can’t be done. This is what we want, but this can’t be done. This will kill us. It will overwhelm our systems. It will crash the system.

If THIS absolute gets into our hands, it will OSSIFY the system. What will happen to the electrons? How will they spin? What will happen to the fractals? Can you imagine a world without fractals?

Clouds will not condense. We will have no rain. Water will not rise up to the tips of the leaves. What will the butterflies eat? There will be no more wind to shift.

I have started to dig. The base is deep and broad. As I dug, so I saw more — and this is the irony — that I had to uncover before I was able to start to see what already was waiting to be seen.

.   🙂

.   🙂

.   🙂