Some thoughts this morning popped in my head while driving to work. Feel free to discuss this mini blog post.
God may be the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. But, I (and humanity in general) am not. If God is going to communicate with us and have a relationship with us, why are we surprised when God may use different methods than were used in the past? My relationship with my daughters will change. How we communicate and interact in our relationships with one another will grow and morph as we all grow and mature together. Similarly, God in an eternally loving and creative manner, is constantly trying to reach out and communicate to us in ways that are able to be heard and understood in the context they are presented in.
This does not mean that we won’t have to grow and stretch in our relationship with God and in our ability to understand what God is trying to guide us towards. Growth always involves some tension and stress. Like Paul says to the Corinthian church, “this is how I run—not without a clear goal in sight. I fight like a boxer in the ring, not like someone who is shadowboxing. Rather, I’m landing punches on my own body and subduing it like a slave. I do this to be sure that I myself won’t be disqualified after preaching to others,” (1 Cor. 9:26-27).
This also does not mean that we turn our back on the past as irrelevant and unnecessary. We would not be where we are without those who have gone before us and sought to follow God in the manner God was calling them and in the best way they knew how. Good or bad, we do ourselves a disservice by not integrating the positive examples and hard lessons of our ancestors in the faith into our own experience. We do not trot around with an Ark of the Covenant in our services, but we sure can talk about what it means for God to be present among the people. We *should not* share in our ancestors misguided anti-Semitic beliefs. Or, any beliefs along those lines that, cloaked in misappropriated religious language, sought to divide, colonize, demonize, take advantage of or otherwise harm a people group. We can talk about the harm that they did and find ways to repair and redeem broken relationships and communities in an attempt to avoid further brokenness.
God does not change, but we are created to grow and develop. May we be willing to see with new eyes and hear with new ears as God reaches out to us where we are at. Not where we were and in a similar manner to our ancient ancestors. But, as they grew in their relationship with God, so to should we.