Tuesday, January 22, 2013

God With Us

We’re living in a time of great intensity. I often feel like I’m rushing through life and my senses are seriously over-stimulated. The colors are vibrant – we can see in high def, in 3d. IMAX formats are so "real" that we even feel that we're part of a scene. Did you know that the human eye can detect more than 2.4 million colors?

And yet what we most long to see we still see through a glass darkly.

The sounds are incredible – technology amplifies the most subtle nuances of music and voice. Audiologists tell us that the human ear can hear frequencies ranging from 20 – 20,000 hz.

And yet God’s still small voice is often muffled and muted.

For all of our sophisticated technology, life and faith can be frustratingly out of focus. Those “thin” moments - moments when the distance between our world and God seems so thin as to be almost translucent - are sweet to our souls, but for me anyway, all too rare.

We sometimes multi-task our way through life and miss the richness of the good things that surround us. The beauty of nature, of course, but also the sustenance of friendship and the spectacle of innovation. I wonder if our failure to see and fully appreciate all of the good there is in this world is a sin of omission? Could it grieve God as much as our active sins of character?

Now that the craziness of the Christmas season is behind us (the tree and its trimmings are stashed away and the various indulgences of the season have perhaps left us a bit poorer and heavier!) and the New Year is well underway, it's a good time to reflect – to re-focus.

God with us – what does that mean?

God is in our midst. He's here! He's in our friendships, our stress. God is in our laughter and in our heart ache; our study and our coming and going. God is with us in our hopes and fears and in our doubts. God is with us even when we’d prefer that he keep his distance. God is with us – everywhere and always.

Immanuel. God with us in a world that is beautiful beyond comprehension, but also the scene of unspeakable evil. God with us in the depths of despair, in moments of ecstatic enlightenment, and in the banal events and obligations of each day. It reminds me of the lyrics of one of the songs from the 1971 Broadway musical, Godspell:

Day by day
Day by day
Oh Dear Lord
Three things I pray
To see thee more clearly
Love thee more dearly
Follow thee more nearly
Day by day.

God help me, day by day!

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