Part of the good news this past Sunday came from our Acts passage (17:22-34). Verse 28 says, “In Him (God) we live and move and have our being.” What does it mean for us to live and move and have our being in the Divine?
In my sermon preparation last week, I kept returning to that question. As I reflected on it and sat with the text, some holy unwinding of assumptions and misconceptions began to occur. Even though I know God is not a human, knowing is not enough. I have to actively resist and untangle myself from this gravitational pull toward anthropomorphizing God.
As many of us have noted during our experiment of utilizing The Women’s Lectionary this year, the words we use when we talk about God matter a great deal. All of this He and Him business has done formative work in me. It has created a current that I have to actively and intentionally swim against if I want any chance of straightening my warped assumptions about the Divine.
It is unfortunate that we have to do this work just to clear the decks of our expectations and assumptions about God, but it is worthwhile work. As I sat with the question above I found myself drifting further away from seeing God as a Zeus-like figure up above and my imagination opening up for what it means to live and move and have our being in the Divine. The fact that God is not a man is good news on a cosmic level — the Creator God not only made the world and everything in it, but that same Creator is active and present in holding all of creation together at a molecular level.
This week I want to invite you to join me in this work of swimming against the stream of the language for talking about the Divine that we inherited. Carve out space to be curious and to contemplate, “What does it mean to live and move and have our being in the Divine?”
What do you notice as you sit with it? What do you find yourself letting go of? What are you opening to?
Friends, may the presence of our Creator bless you and keep you this week, and may the Holy Spirit open your heart to receive each breath and each moment as the gift that it is.