I have an appeal, I have a cry of the heart to make known. It commenced as I was skipping along Facebook and Twitter submissions recently. Watching the one line soundbites flooding in and being deeply aware that in no man or woman’s heart is the desire to separate or divide, but watching as the submissions pass by, some unknowingly even innocently will bring this about, asking people to stand on right or wrong sides, best or better, are you this persuasion or the other, do you subscribe or don’t you, this experience is the now way, it all sounds a little gnostic, I am saddened. My cry is let us be united, I am so aware that God has done all in order that we are united with God, should we not do all to maintain this, for this is my cry.
We live in an age where other word carries more weight in our soul than the WORD of the Father, Son and Spirit, or at least that is how it seems. The immense word that comes out of the divine circle, the dance that unceasingly goes on that we have been invited to participate with, and is not our passion our desire is for us to fill up this world with the life and therefore the Word of God. I read a submission recently, which seemed so good on the surface but I must admit it left me with a question, are we splitting hairs, through this it appears to be acceptable to separate once again on experiences. As one who has been baptized into belonging, like many of us through baptism, we are a people who are desirous to see the one body of Christ in our world, to see Christ filling all in all, allowing various viewpoints without undermining our heartfelt desire to be united as God is. John 17 surely must become our priority not our theology, or experience, a question should it not all constructively direct us to the will of God?
John 17:21-23 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.
22 “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one.
23 I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.
Now don’t get me wrong I strongly hold to diversity in every aspect of our faith and life, in our thinking and practice without being given over to every one doing what is right in their own eyes. How can any one view, any one theology, any one experience deliver or fully describe our vast and wonderful God. We live in a world where we recognize that every culture, every colour, tribe and tongue is necessary to express God. There is no one person, no one age, no one culture that can faithfully express God in fullness, we are in need of every difference to make up the full testimony of the Father, Son and Spirit. For is God not always presented to us in more than the one, God is covenantal.
Now back to my first thought, this submission that kicked this cry to the forefront of my mind was a quote that we do not need an encounter with the Bible but with the love of God. Whereas I can agree and support the thought to a degree, it is the life encounter that transforms, appealing that we stay in the life of God, being sons of God ‘led by the Spirit, however here is my heartfelt plea, are not the Scriptures, the Word of God, the Bible the love of God, the Father made manifest? Is not the word we can carry on our arms, hands, hearts and tongues, the Scriptures, the Bible the manifestation of the love of God, otherwise the love of God becomes an emotion, an encounter, an experience, whereas I experience the love of God and find my emotions stirred by the love of God through the Bible as I encounter their words, Christ is made manifest as I encounter him as the Word. My appeal is simply let us not downgrade the Bible, the Scriptures but only love them, as yet another expression of the love of God, where we can encounter the Fathers love. God’s words, Father Son and Spirit show their love through the Scriptures and in the Scriptures.
I am one that believes that the love of God through history has given us two Testaments the New Testament and Old Testament I also see God in the new covenant is writing a Third Testament. You and I are to be a Testament written by the spirit and read by all men, letters that all can read and encounter Father, Son and Spirit.
Let us see the wide expression of vast different ways of the love of God, rather than set up what is right and wrong, person against person through our experience. I know that is not our desire but unfortunately we do add to the practice the experience of who, what is superior or lesser on these matters. God is love and his Word, the Scriptures, the Bible as we read it, is one place where we can, and do, encounter the Fathers love as in and through so many other vehicles
The love of God is delivered to us through many facets creation, scriptures, even modern-day films, anything really, we can encounter the love of God in so much and we do!