Sunday, June 15, 2014

Advice on Knowing God (take 2)

I wrote the beginning of the following earlier this week, but today during Chris' sermon, I realized it was really a half-finished thought, and worse, may have left one with the impression that I had all the answers and I "get" God.

I don't.

This is what I wrote last week:
I was going to write of my knowing of the Trinity from childhood until now, a sort of spiritual autobiography from my view of a God who protected yet Who I foremost saw as judge, a Jesus who was a human prophet, a Holy Spirit that was a bit too woo-woo for me -- to this wonderful threefold Divine blessing in my life. 
Instead, I shall write advice as how to achieve a deeper knowing:
Be challenged.
Talk it out with one you love.
Question, seek answers.
Pray, even when you don't see the point.
Be open to possibilities.
Be vulnerable with God.
Uncover how your story and God's intertwine.
Be still.
And not necessarily in that order.
And I should have added: "Repeat. Often."

In the gospel of Matthew today, 28:16-20, the end of the gospel, Chris focused on the following: "When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted."

So let me tell you about the "wonderful threefold Divine blessing".

I believe that God's presence is always with me, on trust when I don't feel it, even when I want to. And it frustrates me that when I make the time to be quiet and sit with God that it really feels like I am by myself.

I believe Jesus died for me in some way, but I don't believe it was a penal substitutionary atonement that is rampant in the language of the liturgical church, and I haven't found a "replacement" theory for that yet but I am starting to wonder if the death is far less important than the resurrection. (This is why I'm reading N.T. Wright.)

I hear the Holy Spirit in the rousing hymn or praise song, down to the tingles at the back of my neck and along my arms, but I don't always hear her whisper. And I am least able to articulate who the Holy Spirit is and what it does, but I know it when I see it. I think.

(By the way, the class where I was going to write the icon for the Holy Trinity/Angels at Mamre has been canceled.)

So where am I going with this? I expect that just as my understanding of my faith and of my God has changed  dramatically since I was little, I continue to expect it to change, and hopefully grow and deepen, even with the understanding that God is ultimately beyond complete comprehension.

1 comment:

Caroline said...

I love your honesty. I've had the hardest time connecting to the Spirit - Jesus was the easiest which makes sense since He was the incarnation. Perhaps because I associated the Holy Spirit with guilt, always afraid of committing the unforgivable sin, wondering if I had inadvertently blasphemed the Spirit. We get along better now, but She still makes me uncomfortable. This discomfort is the good kind that leads to compassion though, not the sort that leads to despair.