Here begins the first post of Second Reflections. I’m breaking our self-imposed rule of “posts of 250 words or fewer“, in order to introduce this blog.
First, the intention behind this blog: to provide you a new post twice a week, to offer you a snapshot of beauty and thought, which can start your day in a centered, wondering, prayer-full way. Our first post, Evidence and Opening Our Eyes, is up. August 4th will be our second post.
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Second, the conviction behind this blog: to show and share the theological reflection of people’s everyday lives. Our church community is filled with those already exploring faith in creative ways–through writing, photography, poetry, banner-making, prayers, and other endeavors. This is just one place where we can share those reflections.
These posts of individual spiritual experience are not a substitute for Church. Instead, these posts continue the conversation which started in communal worship on Sundays. This blog gathers a collection of images and experiences from a variety of people and puts them in conversation with ancient lines of scripture (ie: Genesis 1, in a future post), ripe intellect of scholars (ie: Lewis, see below), and fresh words of contemporary writers (ie: Mary Oliver, future post) .
On our own, our collections of spiritual experiences can seem lovely, yet, ultimately, limited and paltry. Together, our collections are abundantly rich, offering a deeper, broader vision of faith in life.
…But don’t take my word for it. Read C.S. Lewis, writing about the work of Theology in his chapter “Making and Begetting” from Mere Christianity.
“In a way I quite understand why some people are put off by Theology.
I remember once when I had been giving a talk to the R.A.F., an old, hard‐bitten officer got up and said, ‘I’ve no use for all that stuff. But, mind you, I’m a religious man too. I know there’s a God. I’ve felt Him: out alone in the desert at night: the tremendous mystery. And that’s just why I don’t believe all your neat little dogmas and formulas about Him. To anyone who’s met the real thing they all seem so petty
and pedantic and unreal!’
Now in a sense I quite agreed with that man. I think he had probably had a real experience of God in the desert. And when he turned from that experience to the Christian creeds, I think he really was turning from something real to something less real.
In the same way, if a man has once looked at the Atlantic from the beach, and then goes and looks at a map of the Atlantic, he also will be turning from something real to something less real: turning from real waves to a bit of coloured paper.
But here comes the point: The map is admittedly only coloured paper, but there are two things you have to remember about it.
In the first place, it is based on what hundreds and thousands of people have found out by sailing the real Atlantic. In that way it has behind it masses of experience just as real as the one you could have from the beach; only, while yours would be a single glimpse, the map fits all those different experiences together.
In the second place, if you want to go anywhere, the map is absolutely necessary. As long as you are content with walks on the beach, your own glimpses are far more fun than looking at a map.
But the map is going to be more use than walks on the beach if you want to get to America.
Theology is like the map…”
Here on this blog, in a few photographs and words of prayer, we are continuing to engage the deep questions of who we are, where we are going, Who is guiding us, and with whom are we traveling along the Way. This is the work of theology. Theology is like a map.
So, please join us as we–with the joy of a child who grasps a marker and a whole wide canvas–take a few seconds and begin coloring the paths of our reflection.
Welcome to our blog!