|Out of Focus #3, 2013, jfd+|
So much effort is placed in trying to understand God. And many, if not most, of those attempts (scholarly, theologically, spiritually, pragmatically, you name the effort) result in putting God in a box. A box of our making...There, right there...that is God. And we can pat ourselves on the back and say we get it now. Often, when we do that, soon thereafter, something happens that disproves or challenges that understanding and frustration can set in, allowing others (or perhaps ourselves) to simply walk away saying Nope, there is no God.
That is part of the reasoning behind Jesus' interaction with the Sadducees today and their absurd question about the woman and the seven brothers and whose wife she is in the resurrection. They were living in a static, rigid, understanding of God. Jesus says God doesn't operate in that way.
We can all like rules and order....Do this...act this way and all will be well...God will be pleased. Those are human constraints placed on something that is beyond our ability to constrain...I think this is one of the reasons we have been given the gift of Jesus - God in human form, fully human and somehow also fully divine. This Jesus, whose entry into the world we celebrate in 16 days. (16 days! Crap, I've gotta mail those packages!) For in that mystery of this gift of Jesus, we have wrapped up in human form this challenge of not putting God in a box...This is one of the things Jesus is sent to us to prove, for he is always challenging us to think outside of that box.
As we continue to wait and prepare and dig into what this mystery means to us this Advent Season, one of the inquiries we can make of ourselves is how much we are trying to put God into a rigid structure, as opposed to living into the wideness and beauty that is God's presence.
Copyright 2013. The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All rights reserved.