Saturday, April 26, 2008

caution and comfort

The following cautions me to accept God's mystery, unknowableness, power - understanding that I am the one captured, contained and limited. I am comforted by the Spirit's resourcefulness and her presence with those who suffer.

Once upon a time we captured God and we put God in a box and we put a beautiful velvet curtain around the box. We placed candles and flowers around the box and we said to the poor and the dispossessed, "Come! Come and see what we have! Come and see God!" And they knelt before the God in the box. One day, very long ago, the Spirit in the box turned the key from inside and she pushed it open. She looked around in the church and saw that there was nobody there! They had all gone. Not a soul was in the place. She said to herself, "I'm getting out!" The Spirit shot out of the box. She escaped and she has been sighted a few times since then. She was last seen with a bag lady in McDonald's.

Edwina Gateley,
"Prophetic Mission: Sniffing Out the Kingdom,"
Mystics, Visionaries and Prophets
via Gail Ramshaw's book
Treasures Old and New: Images in the Lectionary

1 comment:

guz4pasta said...

The quote seems to me to critic the Catholic practice of esteeming the tabernacle. The "God in a box" imagery seems to not appreciate the Catholic belief and practice in the real presence of Christ in the bread and wine after consecration. Lutherans believe in the real presence as a mystery that leaves the bread and wine after distribution, or only becomes real when consumed. I don't like imagery that divides, or builds on historical differences. The spirit imagery is strong but the "God in a box" imagery seems to critize Catholic practice when its real point is to show how easy it is to have a faith that is not alive and only brought on special occasions.
My belief is that spiritual imagery should seek religious understanding and unity. The Spirit wants us to overcome the human sin and self-interest has caused the divisions in the church.

I was a member of FTLC for more than six years in the 90s. It is good to see all the spirit and ministry is still alive and well.

Helen Guzzo