Friday, April 14, 2006

My favorite perch

It's amazingly warm in Denver for this time of year--high 80's! My tall son can reach the eye bolt on the beam without standing in a chair, so he clipped the S-hook of my favortie perch onto it. Et voila! ...a sky chair swinging in the breeze on the patio! I was able to sit there and read for a long while in the late afternoon yesterday. The temp was perfect and I was able to zone out the noise from soccer practice in the park behind my house. The photo is from last August and you get a glimpse of my side yard in summer. Currently, no fully green or growing things yet and the little water pond is dry, but the nice weather draws me outside. The crabapple tree has a few magenta blossoms at the ends of some branches, so next week it should be nice to view from the living room. (I loves spring, y'all!)

When I see blossoming trees (like the pears in puffy white "fleece") or drive about 10 minutes west and view a panorama of the front range of the Rockies against a beautiful clear blue sky, I am deeply touched and mindful of God.

Holy, holy, holy (are You) Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come (Rev. 4:8)

When I see the mountains I always think of permanence (He created those before I was here and they will be here after I'm gone). Kind of gives me perspective. I think of his sovereignty and majesty and vastness. We are like fleeting little pin-point dots on a bigger dot on the map. Zoom out, zoom out, zoom out to see the earth from space. Where are our dots? What must God's perspective be? He is truly other and transcends our physical universe.

The incredible (re-birth of) beauty in the natural world with blossoms, color, fragrance, and the intricate design in everything he gives life to, brings me back to an awareness of his continued participation in creation. Those of us who populate this physical realm find him to be merciful, faithful, and O, so personal to the point of caring about our next breath, our next thought. Providing and giving. Not stopping short of giving his own Son. Counting us worthy to participate in his continued redeeming of all things.

Transcendence. Immanence. Vertical and horizontal. Loving God. Loving what God loves. Seems simple, doesn't it? Honestly, the vertical axis, the mystical union with a transcendent Creator/Redemer is my preferred realm. I am growing in intimacy through prayer, listening, and just being with him, worshipping and experiencing him with others, recognizing him in all of life in a thousand ways each day, tending faith and hope, and embracing life. But is this incarnational mission? It could be if it truly expresses itself in recognizing where God is at work in every realm of life and culture, overcoming boundaries, and expressing the God-life and grace into the real world of my native (specific local) culture. My life with God should have integrity in both the faith realm and the culture realm--in issues of social justice, the creation, and making God visible through my art and relationships.

I am challenged by the ideas, case studies and interviews that I'm finding in the Emerging Churches book (see previous post.) It is causing me to re-think the fragmentation (between church and culture) and causing me to ask how I'm doing in loving who and what God loves. All of life belongs to and is about God. I want to continue to examine where my life may not be in sync with all that I say I believe.


Blogger Susan said...

I'm with you.

I have been dogged lately by my question - what is Church anyway? Is it somewhere we go to or somewhere we live every day? The integrity of what we believe acted out in every day life feels right to me, but how do we come together (for we must - for perspective and protection) in a way that makes sense.

I'm feeling "out of it" about it, like I don't really belong anywhere because I'm missing a dimension somehow. It isn't about people or politics. It's about the essence of what God had in mind when He described His Church. It eludes me.

It's more than teaching/learning, more than "good deed doing" and outreach. At least that's what it feels like to me. Maybe it's a state of being that includes intimacy with God, worship, community apart from "doing". It's being a good example of what Jesus came to teach us. It's something apart from Sabbath.

1:26 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Susan, your question, 'What is Church anyway?' is the one so many of us are wrestling with! Seeing it not as an event we attend or place we go to, but who we are as a people of God submitted to Christ-- and all that that means, is the central point of discussion. I do think it is both resting (in Him), and actively living in love among and toward those around us. It may become 'political' (not partisan) when we believe certain issues are on the heart of God and demand our engagement. Determining which things are tradition, cultural baggage, self-serving, or indeed mandated by God, may be a process of discovery that happens best in community. For me that's both within the smaller context and becoming aware of, and interacting with, what others from outside of my local realm are saying about these issues. I also struggle to find an answer to 'how we can come together in a way that makes sense.' Geography and packed schedules seem to fight this.

1:13 PM  

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