April 12, 2012 — emerge

Today’s Bible reading and an excerpt

Read Romans 1:16-25

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.

More thoughts for meditation

The creation itself tells about God. Anyone willing should be able to know all about God just by looking at a leaf  for an extended period of time! There are many other ways God is revealed, too. We have a proverb that says “The truth in and from Jesus is revealed in many ways: through the Bible, through the members of the body, through the creation, through the Holy Spirit.” We want to be guided into our fullness through all of these ways.

In the modern era, Europeans filled the world with scientific rationalism. The Bible became a “proof” text for ongoing experiments in spirituality. But as Paul teaches in Romans, God has never been confined to books. The message of the gospel is the power of salvation, and that message is in the Bible. But it is also revealed in the Body of Christ (like you and me), through meditating on creation, and by revelation from the Spirit. [Rod wrote a blog about this, once].

A great poet wrote a poem about this, once:

And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs—
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings. — From “God’s Granduer” by Gerard Manly Hopkins (1844-89)

Suggestions for action

Let’s open our eyes. There is still spring blooming around us! The persistence of creation is a yearly encouragement to rise above our own “brown brink.” Go find a flower emerging and emerge with it.

3 Replies to “April 12, 2012 — emerge”

  1. This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes of late, “Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.”

    Martin Luther

  2. I think one of the ugliest survivals of Enlightenment is the separation of rational thought from physical experience. We can be neither one or the other–we must always be both. We cannot understand the world with only experience and we cannot understand the world with only rational thought. Just the same, both are needed to seek out God and righteousness.

    I heard a man, a classic example of The Bible-Thumper, on Temple’s campus the other day exchanging a shouting match with a young man, a student. The student yelled, “How do you KNOW Jesus is the only way and I will go to hell?” And the man shouted back, “Because the Bible tells me so.” The crowd laughed.

    This exchange made me sad on several levels, heart-sick, really. This young man wasn’t going to be open to the evidence that worked so evidently for the evangelist – the Bible. The young student might have been open to a different form of hearing though, a different kind of evidence.

    Once my father was engaging my kids, then ages 5’ish and 6’ish, in a theological discussion. “How do you know God is real when you can’t see Him?” Dad asked. One of the kids answered, “Poppy, I can’t see the wind, but I know it is real. I can tell because it moves things and sometimes I can hear it.” Now that’s some theology!

  3. Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so… for the Spirit tells me so… for the Body tells me so… for all nature tells me so …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *