|God - the Creator
believe in one God - the Father - the Almighty.
Maker of heaven and earth
of all that is - seen and unseen"
For most of human history, this would not have been a choice... belief in supernatural beings was part of life. In most cultures - and in the world today, there were seen to be many gods - often associated with different aspects of life.
Some gods were seen as benign and willing to help humanity (for a price) - others were ferocious - even to demanding human sacrifice.
Images of the gods were made - and stories told about their lives - although surprisingly often, their behaviour is more like the behaviour of spoilt children than of divine beings!
Gods were also associated with places - and early peoples had a great attachment to the land of their forebears - to the land of their own god. In a world of uncertainty, gods - even fierce gods - were good to have around.
And then, a wanderer in the desert had a moment of
revelation... There were not many little gods as had been thought - there was only
one...and this God could not be confined in an image or a place....
He was one God - above all the little gods that humans made for themselves - He was not created - but was the Creator of all things...
And so began Gods revelation of Himself to humanity - revealing himself first of all to Abraham and Sarah - with the promise that their descendants would number more than the stars. The descendants are not the biological ones - but everyone who believes in the God who revealed Himself in the desert thousands of years ago.
Our understanding of God continues to grow as generation upon generation of mystic and theologian go deeper into the Mystery that is God.
As Abraham learned that this God did not demand human sacrifice - so, in our day, we are learning that He cannot accurately be depicted as an old man with long bushy beard. God is revealing Himself to a new generation as greater than even the greatest human art can depict.
And yet, our growing understanding still has to stand before the Mystery. The words that express the Truth about God remain the same - although our understanding of them is deeper....
Is the God who created "all things seen and unseen" any less great because we have learnt more about the wonders of how they work?
Or does our increased knowledge deepen our wonder and sense of Mystery as we survey the glories of Creation....
Like Einstein - do we feel "rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law, which reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection". As Hugh Lavery says in response to this quotation: "only a great mind could have known this. Only a great man could have said it. The great are humble. They are the only realists. They reverence creation and their knowledge becomes wisdom; their emotion, wonder." ...or the Psalmist - "Marvellous to me are Your works - how profound Your thoughts, O my Lord..."
Drinking from the Wellspring
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