The Audacity of God

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Audaciously, God has chosen weakness over strength. smallness over bigness, forsaking us rather than fixing us. In a big risk, God has chosen to be present as an ‘unheard’ inner insistence, calling us toward simplicity.


Psalm 22:25-31

25 I offer praise in the great congregation because of you; I will fulfill my promises in the presence of those who honor God. 26 Let all those who are suffering eat and be full! Let all who seek the Lord praise him! I pray your hearts live forever! 27 Every part of the earth will remember and come back to the Lord; every family among all the nations will worship you. 28 Because the right to rule belongs to the Lord, he rules all nations. 29 Indeed, all the earth’s powerful will  worship him; all who are descending to the dust will kneel before him; my being also lives for him. 30 Future descendants will serve him; generations to come will be told about my Lord. 31 They will proclaim God’s righteousness to those not yet born, telling them what God has done. (CEB)

 

[Scripture taken from the Common English Bible®, CEB® Copyright © 2010, 2011 by Common English Bible.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.]
[Image: “Creative Commons paradigm shift” by robermf is licensed under CC BY 2.0]

Psalms 22:25-31

The foundation of my praise in worship is the audaciousness of God. While some fear God; I am awe-struck that God’s presence is not in the fearsome power of earthquake, wind, or fire, but in a gentle and quiet whisper that can only be heard inwardly. It is a presence, ironically, that the poor tend to experience more readily than the rich. It is easy to entertain hoped-for-ness that the entire world would live in response to that unheard inner calling that comes in the name of God. Perhaps. It is quite another thing to live hope-fully in response to that insistence, patterning one’s life according to the life and teachings of Yeshua. Will this make a difference for future generations of those yet unborn. Who knows? The best I can hope for is that my life becomes transformed and that such transformation might touch a few lives in the generations that are striving to make sense of the present time. To those who will listen, I will simply say that I do this in the name of God. Perhaps. Audacious, some will say. Of course!

Reflections

Meister Eckhart:

“Therefore let us pray to God that we may be free of ‘God’.” [Sermons 52 & 87]

Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

“God would have us know that we must live as men who manage our lives without him. The God who is with us is the God who forsakes us (Mark 15.34). … God lets himself be pushed out of the world on to the cross. He is weak and powerless in the world, and that is precisely the way, the only way, in which he is with us and helps us.” (Letters Papers from Prison (p. 360). Touchstone. Kindle Edition.)

John Caputo:

“So the conclusion I have reached is that religion’s God is too large, too great, too Big a Why-in-the-Sky for things down here on earth to live without why.God is without why; but religion is chock full of why’s and wherefore’s” (Hoping Against Hope: Confessions of a Postmodern Pilgrim, 2015, page 111f.)

“God insists, but dare not exist. … God’s insistence is God’s existence. … To rid God of God is to simplify God down to the the purity of an unconditional calls upon and disturbs the conditions of the world, where we are called in turn to lead a simple life. (p. 114)”

Leonardo da Vinci:

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[Image: “Creative Commons Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” by ~Bani~ is licensed under CC BY 2.0]

 

The audaciousness of God is the exact opposite of our need to”protect” God from being misunderstood. We construct elaborate theological frameworks that make “God” a cosmic Santa Claus, an eternal manipulator, an ever-present house mother. We want “God” to fix things when they go wrong (when we “screw up”). We expect “God” to be in control. I am convinced that the core of the biblical message, the “marrow of the Gospel” is that “control” has been abandoned to human beings. Yeshua* as the Human Being* (“Son of Man”) catalyzed the God-process of growing humankind toward wholeness of being and purpose. That God-process (a trial and error experiment) is continued as we attend to the unconditional call(s) to lead a simple life — compassion instead of separation and alienation; peace instead of fear and war; justice instead of oppression and marginalization. We are called to this simplicity in spite of the fact that the Powers that Be continue to shout at us — “complexity,” “can of worms,” “Pandora’s box,” “Gordian knot,” “it’s not that simple!” The audacity of God sides with the simple, not the complex.

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