Thursday, March 5, 2009

abstract doctrine vs Living Force

During my listening time yesterday morning, I had some thoughts. All to often we think of God in terms of abstract character traits, part of this massive, nice and neat system of doctrinal thought. This is weird. And I think it can be lethal to our souls. When I see someone doing something extraordinarily nice, I don't think of this person in terms of an abstract character trait. I say to myself, "That was loving. That was an act of love. That person is loving. The Force of Love was just made manifest over there." It is real. It just happened. Its effects shook the ground and will reverberate from that moment into the future. Reality as we know it will never be the same. Why do we think of the Creator in terms of abstract character traits, creating nice systematic, all-encompassing doctrines that make The One somewhat hamstringed by our well thought out schema. I am choosing, or trying to choose, or at least hoping to try to choose, not to live to closely to this box. I can see it, which might be a good thing, but the false reality that is generated by this box -- Lord help me to be free from it. Instead, let me see You. The Love. The Compassion. The Mercy. The Whisper. When I see a brother of mine help a sister of mine who is down and out - there You are. The Love has shown up. The Compassion has been revealed. Even if all involved are oblivious, I will embrace the reality that in that moment The Mercy was a force that couldn't be contained. And in that moment reality was created. The world received a taste of redemption. Maybe that was partially what was meant by "The Word became flesh." The abstract doctrine became Living Force - not that It hasn't always been a Living Force. But Jesus makes this painstankingly obvious. He was a human person walking around in real space and time, not a collection of abstract character traits walking around in real space and time. And The Love showed up in unexpected ways. "You just don't touch lepors. Everyone knows that is a sin." "Clearly he doesn't know this woman is a prostitute or he wouldn't assocate with her." One of the Teacher's closest friends was able to say "God is love" because he saw The Love intentionally walk up to a cross and let himself be murdered. May The One grant us the eyes to see and the ears to hear The Love in our midst. To The Living Force be the honor, and power, and glory forever. Amen.