[Uucf-bible] The Continuity of Life
sstroutdc at yahoo.com
Thu Sep 2 15:16:52 EDT 2004
I find the lectionary readings this week to also be
intriguing. I'm having difficulty tying in the one
from Philemon, but the others seem to have a theme to
me that suggests the continuity of life and the change
that occurs within it.
In the Jeremiah passage, God is seen as a potter with
a piece of clay. If the clay is marred, he reshapes
the clay into a more beautiful piece. Let's face it.
There are times in our lives when we do ugly things,
when our life is marred. I thank God for his grace
that he takes the time to reshape me into a more
beautiful vessel. Because I do not believe in an
omniscient God but rather one whose own experiences
are growing as well, I know that I am contributing to
God's glory even when I am marred, for the experience
of reworking the clay can be powerful not just for me
but for God as well.
I tend to look at the Deuteronomy passage from a more
esoteric perspective. God is suggesting to us that if
we choose life,then our lives will be longer. I'm not
so sure that this is meant to suggest a temporal
length, although it could include that, as much as a
qualitative experience. We've all met folks, and
perhaps been those folks, who are basically the
walking dead. Life is miserable for them and they
intend on making it so for everyone else. If we
consider the Promised Land from an esoteric
perspective of that quality of life where we live in
abundance rather than scarcity, then our time in the
promised land is promulgated our decision to choose
life rather than a living death.
Then in Luke, we see one of Jesus' wonderfully
esoteric passages about giving everything up in order
to gain it. What is interesting is that Jesus is
suggesting that we give everything up, including our
lives, to be his disciples. He then begins to tell
stories of people who sit down to plan out their
course of action before taking it. They assess their
resources. How do these two things go together?
I think it means we need to sit down and take a good
hard look at ourselves. When we do, we will find
pretty quickly that we lack the resources in our
limited ego selves we call our life to truly do
something glorious for God. It is only through our
interdependence with all of God that we can begin to
have the resources to build the tower of wage the war
for God's glory.
The thread that I am seeing is that God is trying to
tell us to stop looking only to ourselves for the
answers. Sometimes we are going to mess up, and God
is going to have to start over again. Sometimes we
need to make a decision to stop moping and choose
life, to stop rebelling and choose obedience.
Sometimes we have to stop putting our own selfish
lives at the center and place a cause higher than us
as our mission.
Just some rambling thoughts.
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