This past Sunday we continued our year-long exploration into relationships. This month we continue to explore the concept that all of our life is sacred and in an ongoing process of growth and development. This week we looked at how relationships break down when we "objectify" ourselves, God, others or creation. When we "objectify" someone (or thing ), we view and treat them as an object- something we can use to meet our needs. More often than we admit, we objectify others, God or ourselves on a subconscious level throughout our day. This "objectifying" invariably breaks down relationships. We can't be in real relationship when we demand the other to be something or someone to meet our needs.
Often we "objectify" God. We create and relate to God as this being- this object- out there who can meet our needs, rather than risk being involved with God in a real, intimate relationship. Jesus tells us that He and the Father desire to make their home within us (John 14:23). This invitation is for intimate union with God - a relationship where we are loved and loving in return. More often it's easier for us to say "I love you God" than to hear God say to us "I love you...(insert your name)." In a strange way, it often feels safer, less risky to believe in a distant (and at times wrathful) God, than one who loves us and wants us to be in an intimate relationship with us. According to Richard Rorh, "John Duns Scotus (c. 1266-1308), who founded the theological chair at Oxford, said that Jesus wasn’t solving any problems by coming to earth and dying. Jesus wasn’t changing God’s mind about us; rather, Jesus was changing our minds about God." God did not need Jesus to die on the cross to decide to love humanity. God’s love was infinite from the first moment of creation. The cross was just Love’s dramatic portrayal in space and time."
William Paul Young (author of The Shack) puts it this way, "Bad theology is like pornography- the imagination of a real relationship without the risk of one. It tends to be transactional and propositional rather than relational and mysterious. You don't have to trust Person, or care for Person. It becomes an exercise in self-gratification that ultimately dehumanizes the self and the community of humanity in order to avoid the painful processes of humbling and trusting. Bad theology is not a victimless crime. It dehumanizes God and turns the wonder and the messy mystery of intimate relationship into a centerfold to be used and discarded."
Reflect this week:
While slowly breathing in say: “I love you...(insert your name)"
while slowly breathing out say: "I love you God/Jesus/Spirit (whatever name fits for you)"
Repeat ten times or as long as you like
By Babs May-Clark