I have spent part of this week away at the annual District Superintendent Ministers Consultation. This is an event which is designed to bring all the Superintendents together with the Chairman of District for sharing of information and formation of thinking. It is usually a good time of fellowship; thought provoking and challenging. I value it very highly.
On our second day Wes, our District Chairman (I struggle to use the PC term `chair` !), led us in a thought provoking time considering God as the Cosmic creative snowball !!
His idea being that God is cosmic; well, I don’t think any of us would have any problem with that. You just have to look beyond our four walls into nature to see a God who is bigger than the scope of our imaginations. “O Lord my God when I in awesome wonder…………..” leads us into a sense of awe and wonder about the size and limitless power of our God.
Creative, the next description, is another that I think most people would cope with. Like Wes I cannot go along with the idea that God made the world thousands of years ago, set it running and then sat back to watch what happened. No, I think that God is constantly tweaking, shaping and creating anew that which he already thinks is good. The Incarnation of Jesus, that belief in God coming into the world as a human being, speaks of a God who is constantly at work and constantly caring for his creation. Yes, it raises all sorts of issues, particularly in the area of suffering, but I still hold to a God who loves and cares, even if at times I don’t understand how he shows it.
It’s the third image which is particularly challenging. Like the other ministers I giggled when this was first spoken; however as Wes began explaining the description I saw something of what he was getting at. The idea behind this term is one of a God at the core of everything and gathering more and more as it goes on. Just as a snowball picks up more snow on its journey so God `gathers` his people on his journey. Now if you look at a snowball you can’t see where it began or where it picked up its last piece of snow. It all merges into one. In the same way we become part of God and he becomes part of us. Our journeys become intertwined with each other and with God.
As with all things this idea is fraught with issues, not least the role of the cross, but it is a helpful way of looking at our relationship with the God of the Cosmos, who does care for us and does seek our love in return.
Mmmmmmmmm, quite challenging !!