|The Phantom Christmas Break Thinking
||[Dec. 15th, 2006|12:30 am]
|||||Family Force 5||]|
Topics that have entered my thoughts of late. I think this is rather long, so I won't make all the LJers read it if they don't want
The Northern Lights
This most recent one occurred tonight as I was driving to Woodland to watch my sister play basketball. I happened to look north, and lo and behold, the northern lights were out in full Illinois force. It made the drive a lot less boring, but I didn't really have anyone to share the moment with. It kind of hit me that it was just me, God, and his creation right then. Just the majesty of it kind of struck a chord in me. God was like, "Hey, hey look what I made. Come look at it with me! Isn't it pretty?" This cosmic phenomena, solar wind interacting with the magnetosphere, was created because it looks pretty.
It also led me to think about how I reconcile my science classes with my theological beliefs. I've had some good science profs so far, who've stretched our thinking in this direction. So far, my studies of science have made me more aware and appreciative of God's creation. Things like discussions of nuclear physics, quantum mechanics, extra dimensions, and others have increased my awareness that although God has revealed a great deal of Himself to us, there is still a lot of mystery about Him. His ways are amazing, his finger prints everywhere. Just some thoughts in that direction.
This topic is lifted straight from my pastor Mike's blog, Imitate Jesus (check it out, he posts about very thoughtful topics). A few days ago he brought up the topic of faith and what role it plays in our lives. He compared a life to a house. Inside the house there are different rooms for different purposes. Some rooms get used a lot, some don't.
Most of the time we unconsciously think of faith as just another room in our house. It's decorated in a certain way (Christian, Muslim, Jew, mystic, atheistic...), and we spend differing amounts of time in it. It's a part of our lives. Some people spend most of their time in the room, some barely ever remember it's there.
Mike's challenge is to think of faith as not a room, but as a community. Faith is not a room we build onto our house; it's the community where we build our house. Every part of the house is in faith, or it isn't. As he puts it, "The invitation of Jesus to follow him is NOT an invitation to make a faith room in your home and decorate it in a Christian style. The invitation of Jesus is an invitation to move into His community...not just part way, but all the way. Every relationship. Every choice. Every action. Every attitude."
He also addresses the "faith without good works is dead" topic. It also fits neatly into the whole house analogy. My house is in Roanoke. It obviously sits at 611 West High Street in Roanoke, Illinois. I could say I live in El Paso. I could tell everyone this. I could paint a room in my house purple and black and put a big picture of that Titan guy up on the wall. I could cover the house in Titan colors. But the house still sits in Roanoke. It's not in El Paso. When we claim to have faith, that is great. We shouldn't be afraid to let that be known. But if it's not reflected in where your life is at, then that claim of faith is baseless and useless.
He ends with a few thoughts on what following Jesus is (read the gospels, do what He did) and a call to grow with each other, struggling together to reach Christ's example.
I think I'll end with that, if you read this, leave a comment of what you think, agree, disagree, more thoughts, neutral, whatever. Comments = discussion, and I enjoy any excuse to talk...