God is the one who remembers. Everything. Everyone, every being, is remembered by God. A God who understands human weakness, but also a God who judges each of us. Everything you or I do matters, because it will be remembered by God. Those who made the Holocaust possible will be remembered by God. My Grandson, who contributes a large portion of his small salary to charity will be remembered. Remembered and judged by God. For all eternity. But that’s it. God does not punish the bad or reward the good. In the end we return to the stardust from which we came. But God knows. Forever. Kind acts and cruel acts are not the same. God knows the difference and remembers, even when humans have forgotten. Everything you do is of eternal significance.
Blogging about God has created a problem for me. I realize that I pray to an interventionist God while I believe in a distant God. Since I blog about God to help me figure out what I believe, this is good. It just doesn’t bring me peace.
Most of my posts are about what other people believe about God. Since they are smarter than I am that seems a good start. None seem to believe in God quite like I do, but that’s OK too.
I believe in a creator God, one who has stepped back from his handiwork. Why is there something rather than nothing? Philosophers ask this question, and they are serious. People, zebras, bugs, the earth, the cosmos: everything there is has no need to exist. It just does, and I can see no other ultimate answer than God. Alfred North Whitehead believed something like this.
This works on a less cosmic level as well. Every night I thank God for the gift of my life that day, and for the wonder and beauty that exists in this world. I pray for those I love and care about. And I pray for desperate, afflicted people, such as the Rohingya Muslims. That’s about it.
I try not to pray for myself. That seems too much like asking God for a bicycle for Christmas. But, what would I pray for if I were seriously ill? That I be open to God’s presence. I’d pray for the same thing for my wife, and others whom I love.
Religionless Christianity. (Bonhoeffer post # 2)
Religionless Christianity may seem like a contradiction. It’s not. Christ did not seek to establish a religion, but to speak for the oppressed and downtrodden, as well as to save our souls. He and his first followers sought to establish communities in the midst of empire.
The term “religionless Christianity” belongs to Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and because Bonhoeffer was murdered before he developed his ideas, it has sometimes been mistaken for something like the death of God. Not so.
Because I don’t believe in a God who intervenes in everyday life, I’m not sure why I pray to Him every night. Yet I continue to pray, and there is still so much I don’t understand. Why do we ask God’s blessings? On those near and dear to us, as well as refugees and displaced persons far away whom I will never meet. Yet I continue to ask Him.
About asking God’s blessings. If there were an interventionist God, why would He be more likely to intervene if I asked Him? He doesn’t take recommendations from me. One answer is that what I am really asking is for God to feel present in another person’s life, as well as my own. Not that he change their journey, or mine, but that He accompany us along the way. But, the problem remains. Why would God be more likely to accompany someone on his or her perilous journey just because I ask Him to? Or if a thousand people ask Him to?