The ancient texts have taught us well
But today the Word of God
Has been spoken in you.
After all the campaigning, the speech-giving and the debating; beyond the election, the celebrations and the lamentations, this one promise remains. Not given by a mere mortal politician, but by the God of the Heavens:
“While the earth remains,
Seedtime and harvest,
Cold and heat,
Winter and summer,
And day and night
Shall not cease.”
(Genesis 8:22 NKJV)
For that, I will give thanks.
Long ago, a young couple was standing on a deserted beach.
The man sank his toes into what he had always been told was a flat earth. He fixed his gaze upon the flat ocean shimmering before him. Staring straight out into the horizon, as far as his eyes could see, he suddenly had a thought:
“Beyond that distant horizon, beyond anything I can see – there’s more.”
Meanwhile, the woman turned her eyes towards the big blue sky that hovered far above the ocean. Considering the huge, mysterious canopy that stretched out over her head, she also had a startling thought:
“Beyond that big blue sky, beyond the clouds, beyond anything I can see – there’s more.”
The two looked at one another. They shared their observations. Then, despite all they had been told, they dared to to believe it was true. They dared to believe in something far beyond what they could see. Because of their belief, their whole world suddenly took shape and a vast universe opened up before them.
Today, I stand in front of a mirror, looking at a flat image of me.
So what is it that I’m seeing?
- Chemistry tells me I am just water and elements.
- Physics tells me I am just matter and energy.
- Biology tells me I am just a mammal.
- The mirror tells me I am just an old man.
But as I stare straight into those curious eyes that stare right back at me, suddenly I have a startling thought:
“Beyond what I’ve been told, beyond anything I can see – there’s more.”
Dare I believe it?
Dare I not?
Let’s say I’m watching a sunset one evening . “What a beautiful, wondrous and mysterious thing a sunset is”, I say to myself.
The Little Science Guy on my shoulder perks up. “No mystery to it at all, my friend. You see, the earth is here and the sun is there and the rotation and the orbit and the blah blah blah blah blah blah blah and it looks like the sun is sinking but it’s really not.”
“But what about all those colors?” I ask. Aren’t they beaut…”
“No mystery there either”, Little Science Guy butts in. “You see, there’s light and refraction and reflection and blah blah blah blah blah blah blah and it’s really all just an optical illusion.”
“So I guess what our minds choose to believe is true, isn’t always true”, I say.
“Exactly”, Little Science Guy replies, with an air of erudite finality.
“But if that’s the case,” I ask, “how can you be sure all that stuff you just told me about sunsets is true?”
Little Science Guy perks up again. His mouth opens.
But this time, nothing comes out.
He looks up. He looks down. He scratches his head for a moment. At last, he settles cross-legged on my shoulder, and stares quietly and intently out into the horizon.
“What a beautiful, wondrous and mysterious thing a sunset is”, he says…
Because I have been crazy busy lately, and because it’s been almost a month since my last post, and because I can’t think of a single thing to write about, today I’m declaring creative bankruptcy. Mainly to let you faithful readers know that I haven’t been abducted by aliens.
Also, to those of you whose blogs I regularly read and comment on, please accept my apologies for not getting around to your excellent posts. I promise I’ll get back in the groove when the smoke clears…
In the meantime, I’ll direct you to a post I wrote about this time last year called “Soup Kitchen Agape”. The word “agape” here is not the English word that means “wide open” but is a Greek word (pronounced “uh-GAAH-pay”) meaning “love”. There’s supposed to be a hash mark over one of the letters, I’m just not sure which one. Maybe some of you Greek scholars can enlighten me.
Anyway, this word “agape” has been floating around Christian circles since the 1970’s when every self-respecting Jesus Freak knew all the cool New Testament Greek words like “Koinonia”, “Maranatha” and of course, “Agape”. Of the three, Agape managed to become mainstream and survived into the new millennium. If you still use Koinonia and Maranatha, you are a hopeless Jesus hippie, lost somewhere in the middle of Act II of Godspell. But I digress (as those of us in creative bankruptcy so often do)…
The ancient Greeks, as the Sunday School lesson goes, had three words for love: one for friendship (Phileo), one for romance (Eros), and this Agape, the highest form of love, which of course, we have understood to be the kind of love God has for us. And because He has loved us in this way, we in turn are to show that same kind of love towards our fellow human beings. But in “Soup Kitchen Agape” I kind of turn that idea on it’s ear.
Well, it seems Agape has gotten a whitewashing over the years, and has come to mean this “I love everybody in the world” kind of thing. In other words, “I love people I don’t even know or even like or even care about”. Or more to the point, a love without relationship. A love without affection. A love of obligation. And I don’t think that’s the kind of love God wants to bestow upon anybody.
It’s all explained better in the post, so please have a read and maybe let me know what you think:
(Read “Soup Kitchen Agape”)