Monday, December 28, 2015

God our Creator, Author of Creation

This is a literary and a personal post, and possibly a personal theological post, but not a book discussion post; skip it if you are here to read my book reviews.

I attend a Methodist church, regularly.  My husband is the choral director of the church and I sing in the choir.  I like to sing, and I love my husband.  But I'm definitely a doubter, walking the agnostic tightrope.  I'm not sure what god is, or the afterlife, or creation. I definitely believe in evolution, think the Old Testament is a mixture of myth and stories, and find it hard to accept that virgins can give birth, people can walk on water or come back from the dead (and not be zombies).  I don't necessarily think that prayers heals or helps.  I do not have a strong faith.  

I do believe that Jesus was a real person.  Although there are some historians who have tried to prove otherwise, the historical evidence seems to prove that a real man named Jesus (or the Aramaic equivalent of that name - was it Yeshua?  That seems to stick in  my mind as a piece of trivia).  I believe some (but not all) of Jesus's message is a good one.  In a nutsell, it's "don't be a dick" but that's a helluva lot easier to preach than to put into practice.

I do believe that church, as a community, can help people, both in a social sense, and a psychological sense.  I take great comfort from the idea that people who I only see at most two times a week care deeply about my welfare and pray for me.  That people can come together and make music, think deeply, channel good thoughts and energy in the form of prayer, and simply worship together.  

Today our minister preached a sermon based on the story in Luke, when Jesus gets left behind in Jerusalem, and is found later questioning the teachers in the temple.  Our minister used this story to talk about how questions make our faith stronger.  I don't know how strong my questions have made my faith (I'd say weaker) but they have made my faith more personally interesting and intellectually challenging.

Our congregational prayer fit this theme too, and I thought it was quite beautiful.  Here is the literary part of this post; a lovely prayer.

God our Creator, Author of Creation, we marvel at your mysteries and celebrate the works of your hands.  You give us minds capable of contemplating infinity, meditating on the divine and imagining life beyond death.  Help us to love you not only with our hearts but also with our minds.  Hear our honest questions and lead us to deeper truth so that our belief may be genuine and our devotion pure, in the name of Christ our Lord.  Amen.

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