This afternoon I went to my World Religions section. It was good. The discussion centered around us having been assigned to read the book The Sabbath by Abraham Joshua Heschel. This is the third class it has been an assigned text.
I like the book alright. It is a wonderful read. I would offer that if you read this book and then read The Courage to Be by Paul Tillich your mind would possibly steam and explode filling the earth with the marshmallowy goodness that inhabits the space your brain should.
In exploring the Jewish understanding of the Sabbath and its claim on time and space (as presented in Heschel’s book) I have been delivered to a place that has me on the 405 and 101 interchange. I want to go west bound to the valley. Yet I am compelled to take the east bound lanes or even go north to Valencia. All because it is easier. Ironically, I pass the Skirball and the American Jewish University as I meander the pass to the valley and parts beyond.
I am challenged to think about my understanding of Sabbath, time, and space. How do I engage the divine and profane? How do I encounter this relationship and how does if manifest in my life, in my faith?
I weight heavily upon encounter in my faith. That God (divine) penetrates the profane (creation in its currrent state) in Jesus Christ and allows us (creation) to be reconciled (via the revelation of Jesus). In this encounter time and space that is normally experienced as profane (or even mundanely as it no explicitly divine) that transformation is possible. The revelation is in relation to the depth and intimacy of relationship we have to the divine. The divine pursues us and longs for us. We respond with the same desire and longing to be near the divine. This facilitates the transformation and breeds a physical manifestation to the world thus transforming creation; all due to the divine reaching out into the profane and reconciling all of creation.
This then challenges my understanding of worship as a Christian. If transformation is so encounter based, then is the Gathering truly necessary? Then I must ask what is “The Church” universal? How does it manifest divinity in a profane role? What does this mean to our concept of families? Is this the continuance of Christ’s call to the non-existence of Greek/Jew, Free/Bound, and Female/Male?
Are we sanctified and Holy by our acts or the acts of the Divine?
Just somethings I am chewing on…