People and Church Need Saving…

The problem is, many of the people in need of saving are in churches, and at least part of what they need saving from is the idea that God sees the world the same way they do. Barbara Brown Taylor

Meditation: It is so understandable. Especially among us, the pious and religious folks: All of us want God to be on our side. All of us are tempted to project our favorite ideas onto God. All of us wish we could hold onto our childlike magic belief that it is really us who control God. All of us want God to look like us and represent only us and our culture, our race and even our gender or sexual preference. And then, we are being confronted with “God as the Other” as Karl Barth called it. When our childlike spirituality and our self-centered faith begin to fail us, we usually first get angry and then disillusioned. And if we then allow “to be saved”, we will slowly begin to spiritually mature. As we grow spiritually, we come to realize: God is not only on our side, but on all sides. God does not equal our favorite Bible verses, but God also speaks through those verses we do not like. God cannot be magically predicted and manipulated by us. And God comes to us in experiences and persons of other cultures, other races and other gender or sexual orientation. God surprises us. God does not allow to be identified with the projection of ourselves into the sky, pretending this was God. God brings us down to earth. God as “the Other” is different from our narrow ideas and childlike mind games. And God as “the Other” wants to save us from ourselves and also save our churches from their immature and self-absorbed teachings.

Prayer: God, You have compassion for our childlike and self-absorbed stage of faith. However, You don’t want us to get stuck in it, as many of us do. And You don’t want the church to become a place of colluding with our immature and narcissistic stage of faith, but to challenge us to grow. Thank you for disillusioning us and for forcing us to grow up spiritually. Liberate and save us, Your people, from ourselves. Help us mature and find You in the Otherness that comes our way. Save Your people from churches that keep them immature and make them believe that You are not more than an extension and projection of themselves. God, save Your Church from being lost. Amen

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9