Friday, November 12, 2010

Patient One

The more theology I read, the more patient God seems to me. Fewer women than men have entered the speculative ring of writing about knowing God. Women tend toward the mystical and experiential when they write, while historically men go on and on about dry points of potential and random possibilities.

Deuteronomy 29:29 is one of my favorite verses: "The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever that we may follow all the words of this law." After Moses has reviewed the Hebrew journey through the desert, he tells them there are things they can't and won't figure out. They are to faithfully DO what they KNOW, not what someone may guess at in the future.

My husband reads that verse to introduce Christian Thought, a basic college course in Christian dogma and doctrine. "We are responsible to obey what we know, not to run rings around the mysteries of the faith."

I'm using the verse as I have so many times before--to ground and center me, especially as I read the facts and fictions of what people wrote about God in the early twentieth century. My oh my, there are some weird and wacky ideas out there, deeply valued and closely held as the basis for salvation and right living.

Scripture says it is good to explore the hidden things, but we don't base our life and salvation on them. Through the centuries, God patiently lets us work our way toward him, turning the Church again and again toward himself with revivals, renewals, and right thinking. The family of God has a family tree that includes the strangest, most diverse groups of believers one can imagine. And each one thinks, "I'm right. This is how God wants to be known, followed, and served."

We can only imagine our shock and surprise when we meet the Patient One face to face, when we know as we are known. 

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*For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,  in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.

He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. Colossians 1:13-18 NIV

1 comment:

  1. The rebels in these pictures are a perfect fit for this post!