Shuck and Jive

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Essence of Faith--Awe

(It is Conversations with Bob! Insightful yet whimsical with just a touch of irony.)

Hey Bob!

Thanks for your last post. You really spilled your splankna.

I am not really talking about fruits of the Spirit, although maybe I am. These are the kinds of things I start with, I suppose. Frankly, I think the early storytellers, writers of the Bible, creeds, etc. also started with their experiences of faith and then wrote them into systems of theology. Nevertheless, this is where I am going.

Maybe we ought to parallel play for awhile as we did with our faith/life stories on what we regard as essentials and perhaps from that we can find points of intersection.

I have mentioned gratitude and compassion as essentials of faith. I would add another, awe. This could also be wonder. This is the experience of transcendence. Wow! The universe and God are so much larger than I am. I am overblown. Like Job who experiences YHWH in the whirlwind, I am speechless.

This means that my problems, even Earth's problems, are very slight in the sight of the Universe and God. It also means that my attitudes, opinions, and accomplishments are dwarfed by God's light and wisdom. This Sunday I am going to use a text from the Old Testament Apocrypha, the Wisdom of Solomon:

What has our arrogance profited us? And what good has our boasted wealth brought us? ‘All those things have vanished like a shadow, and like a rumour that passes by; like a ship that sails through the billowy water, and when it has passed no trace can be found, no track of its keel in the waves; or as, when a bird flies through the air, no evidence of its passage is found; the light air, lashed by the beat of its pinions and pierced by the force of its rushing flight, is traversed by the movement of its wings, and afterwards no sign of its coming is found there;
For me, my faith requires humility which is expressed in Awe and Wonder before life and the author of life.

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