Embrace the mystery of God's might
May 19, 2010 - When I flip a switch in my home a mysterious thing occurs. The light goes on.
Ok, Ok, I know that there are wires in the wall which carry a thing called electricity to the bulb. That electricity came from a power plant somewhere, where generators with turbines inside create a magnetic field that causes the electrons to vibrate and transfer electric energy through the copper wire inside my walls to a small wire in the light bulb causing the small wire to heat up and glow. Voila, let there be light!
But no one really knows what electricity is. Is it the electrons which are vibrating in the wires or the wave of energy that moves through the wires? There does not seem to be a single definition that satisfies everyone. Yet we use electricity every day.
And what is light? Some scientists will point to a particle called a photon that has mass. Others will describe it as a wave of energy that has no mass. Albert Einstein said it was both, a wave-particle duality. This is both a mystery to the understanding and an experience to be enjoyed.
This leads me to the Great Mystery: God! Some will tell you that God is a being in the sky watching over you, kind of like Santa Claus (he's making a list, checking it twice, gonna find out who's naughty or nice.) Others will tell you that there is no God, but they do acknowledge the presence of universal laws and principles such as gravity and mathematics.
To Jesus "God is Spirit" (John 4:24) and is not to be worshiped in a physical location "on this mountain or in Jerusalem," but in every thought, word and action "in spirit and truth."
The Apostle John tells us that "God is Love" (1John 4:16), reflecting this absolute nature of the Divine.
God is also "Our Father" (Matthew 6:9) which describes a personal relationship. In the original Aramaic the word is Abwoon, which comes from the same root as the word for Father (Abba.) According to Neil Douglas-Klotz, in "Prayers Of The Cosmos," it points to a cosmic birthing process that is not gender specific and could be translated as Divine Parent.
This echoes the book of Genesis which tells us that we are made in the image and after the likeness of God, "male and female he created them" (Genesis 1:27.) So God is both personal and absolute, imminent and transcendent: a mystery to the understanding and an experience to be enjoyed.
With the joy and freedom that comes through the experience of God's imminent power and presence we transcend the relative appearances of lack and imitation, disease and conflict, to be the light of the world. "You are the light of the world!" (Matthew 5:14.)
When in the midst of life's trials and tribulations: the doctor's diagnosis, the dwindling bank account, the obnoxious neighbor, we continue to be a loving, caring, nurturing presence; we have transcended the world and truly are the light of the world.
Today I invite you to embrace the mystery and affirm with our brother Jesus, "I am the light of the world." (John 8:12.)
Matthew E. Long is senior minister
at Peace Unity Church & Holistic Center.