Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Theology - Identity part 2
All theology (God talk) is personal...comes from deep within us to explore and experience and express God's love that fashioned and formed us.
All theology (God talk) is personal because it is a reflect and response to a relationship with God here and now.
All theology (God talk) is personal because we are not speaking about something distant, but the One is knows us even as we see in a mirror dimly (1 Corinthians 13).
As we pray, who are you, God and who am I? we try to make our way through the myriad of economic and political voices clamoring for our attention and affiliation and allegiance.
Paul Tillich once wrote about the anxiety that can gnaw at our souls. The distinguished the anxiety of fate/death; anxiety of guilt and condemnation; and the anxiety of meaninglessness and emptiness. I find those to be key contributing factors to the blizzard around us and within us. Our response is to usually deny death, sidestep our own brokenness - or blame others, and find someway to numb the pain - fill the void within us - through alcohol/drugs/shopping. Brene Brown begins her amazing TED talk by saying we are the most addicted, in-debt, overweight cohort in history.
So...now you are really, really glad you are reading this blog post. Thanks for this uplifting and inspirational message.
But the most fascinating part of identity is not our successes...but our failures. Not our ego but our stumbling and bumbling ways of living in this world. We need to process our pain rather than pass it along. We need to notice and name that we don't see clearly before we go congratulating ourselves and singing, "We are the champions." Maybe we can identify not only with our blessed-ness and beloved-ness of God, but also with our brokenness. It isn't either/or...it is both/and.
Who are You God...that you would love me when I say that boneheaded thing?
Who are You God...that you keep calling me back, even when I stray so far away from who You created/craft/still love me into being?
Who are You God...that you are bold to proclaim, nothing can separate us from you (Romans 8) and nothing means nothing?
When I start to ask the question that way, suddenly...it starts to take on new nuances and wrinkles. I am in no way saying that we should adopt only a problem centered focus...but when we only think about our amazing/awesome/outstanding self, we miss (see only dimly) the fuller reflection in the mirror.
Who is this God who loves us even when we are not reflecting and being our most authentic God-bearing selves? Now that is a question that can shape the question of identity in new ways that I pray has more than just a trace of God's grace for you.