Meaning in the lack of meaning

“We are given existence in time. The meaning of it is that we shall give meaning to these transitory hours in creation, joy, love, power. All this has an eternal dimension and a transitory, but it is not only transitory, and therefore it is worthy to be lived–in spite of [its transitoriness].”
~ Paul Tilich


A new creaton story

Lord we need a new redemption song
Lord we’ve tried
It just seems to come out wrong
Won’t you help us please
Help us just to sing along
A new redemption song

~ “New Redemption Song” by Over the Rhine

I was thinking of those words when I read Lisa Nichols Hickman’s writing on why we need a new creation story for today.

The Gulf South needs a new creation story because our Biblical stories have been corrupted. This is a year where the Supreme Court gave corporations the right to have “freedom of speech.” Businesses whose very business it is to generate profits are entitled to voice and action in political campaigns. This corrupts the concept God had in mind when he bent in the mud to shape life, breathing vitality into a human being whose lips give voice to praise and prayer, questions and lament, confession and calling. God created a human, not a corporation, to have the gift of speech.

And now, our corporations running amok in the muck and mud of the world are scarring the face of the earth. Creatures are now drenched in oil and dying a slow and painful death. The teeming elements of the earth — pelicans, turtles, alligators, dolphins, shrimp and crawfish — are no longer able to give praise.

The Gulf Coast needs a new creation story. The inspired word our world needs will come from the voices of those created and called to praise, to lament, to ask and to seek. This community of those longing for a new creation will need to stamp their muddy feet, raise their dusty palms and from their breathy voices cry out in anger.

Genesis 1 describes a powerful God who is above creation and whose voice booms creation into being. Genesis 2 paints a picture of a God at play in the world, personally present to us. If Genesis 1 says God is above, and Genesis 2 says God is beside, then perhaps this new creation story will proclaim God can be at work within this very mess.

I nearly wept at her words. Lord we need a new creation story.

Finding God

“The reason we can hope to find God is that He is here, engaged all the time in finding us. Every gleam of beauty is a pull toward Him. Every pulse of love is a tendril that draws us in His direction. Every verification of truth links the finite mind up into a Foundational Mind that undergirds us. Every deed of good will points toward a consummate Goodness which fulfills all our tiny adventures in faith. We can find Him because in Him we live and move and have our being.”

~ Rufus M. Jones, “Pathways to the Reality of God”

I like Jeremiah Wright more and more

Ex-Obama Pastor: ‘Obama Threw Me Under The Bus’

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama’s controversial former pastor, said in a letter obtained by The Associated Press that he is “toxic” to the Obama administration and that the president “threw me under the bus.”

In his strongest language to date about the administration’s 2-year-old rift with the Chicago pastor, Wright told a group raising money for African relief that his pleas to release frozen funds for use in earthquake-ravaged Haiti would likely be ignored.

“No one in the Obama administration will respond to me, listen to me, talk to me or read anything that I write to them. I am ‘toxic’ in terms of the Obama administration,” Wright wrote the president of Africa 6000 International earlier this year.

“I am ‘radioactive,’ Sir. When Obama threw me under the bus, he threw me under the bus literally!” he wrote. “Any advice that I offer is going to be taken as something to be avoided. Please understand that!”

I admit it, I was pretty disgusted when Obama suddenly found his long-time pastor to be “divisive and destructive.” To spend years under the man’s tutelage, to gain from his teachings spiritually, then to toss him aside as a sacrifice to an enraged public was disgusting and transparent. I’m glad to see Wright has no illusions about the way he was treated.

I found that whole episode to be a perfect example of the lack of real human beings in politics. There are only personifications of opinion polls. Real people get thrown under the bus.