14 December 2005

Advent 4

This Sunday, Advent 4, include some the most playful texts of all of Advent. I particularly appreciate the 2 Samuel story. God seems perfectly content to live in a tent and not in a house of cedar. It makes me think of my son who is perfectly content to wear sweatpants everyday and everynight. Why would a two and half year old want to weat jeans or khakis when he has a drawer full of broken in sweatpants?

The story along with the Announcement story and the Magnificat also remind me of a saying Carlyle Marney used to say: God is like a wild mustang, you try and tame him and he bucks you right off. Regardless of our attempts of holiness, codification, institutionalization, bogus omni terms and what not God refuses to let us keep God in our back pockets. God chooses to stay in a tent and chooses to have a young girl deliver his chosen one. odd stories for an odd God.

I close with some words from Paul Tillich. I never was locked into Tillichian modes and ways, but I really grooved on The Courage to Be, especially the God above God.

But a church which raises itself in its message and its devotion to the God above God of theism without sacrificing its concrete symbols can mediate a courage which takes doubt and meaninglessness into itself. It is the Church under the Cross which alone can do this, the Church which preaches the Crucified who cried to God who remained his God after the God of confidence had left him in the darkness of doubt and meaninglessness. To be as a part in such a church is to receive a courage to be in which one cannot lose one's self and in which one receives one's world. (TCTB, p.188, 1952)

That quote has always left me wanting more of Tillich, but he never ventured deeper into that area of his writing. But the God above God idea is a great Protestant Principle against idolatry.

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