Friday, December 4, 2015
The sky was beautifully clear and blue today in Houston. An expansive field of sky that was both blank and full, it made me think of today's word. I felt I could be sucked up into that blue, into the black endless, star-populated endlessness that is our universe. Or Universe for those who prefer that word for what I mean when I say God.
The largeness of God leads us to awe, wonder, worship. In a world very long before electricity, I can only imagine the awe of a starry night, the wonder---and terror---of a moonless night. I find it not surprising at all that the ancient Hebrews wanted to make the universe a little smaller, a little more approachable, first in a traveling tent, later in a stationary Temple.
I like structures. Liturgy is a type of structure, a "building" of words and music that helps us approach the endless expanse that is God. It orders our worship so that we don't get sucked into the endless blue and black of space---for better and worse. My first thought for today's photo was to take a picture of just the blue, post a field of blue. The terrific wonder I mentioned above made me seek out this grid that serves as shade for an outdoor seating area at the university where I work. I don't give it much space, but it helps to keep the blue somewhat contained, approachable, within a context.
Even as I do so, I'm reminded: It's all imagination. Our structures, hour buildings, our liturgies do not contain God. By feats of wonderful imagination, we create amazing architecture and soul-stirring music to make it easier for us to approach the endless, expansive God that we worship, but that's only because we have a hard time sustaining a relationship with the endless sky.
But however wonderful, they do not contain God. The immensity of the Universe. Every container, every structure within which we come before God is a work of imagination to help us worship.
God is endless, of infinite possibility. It is useful to remember this, as best we can, with our limited understanding, within our limited worship.