Colossians 2:6-23

This is a paper I did for class. enjoy…

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One thing is like another

This is a sermon that Mark Janke preached on Sunday, April 12th 2008 at Grace Church Louisville. He was my pastor up there and I still consider him a mentor and hero of mine. It was a very encouraging experience reading this sermon of his and I suggest it to you in hopes that we would all rely on the Holy Spirit to “get it”.

 

One Thing is Like Another

John 11:1-45

 

 

Intro.  There is a subtheme that keeps popping up all over john.  I’ve been waiting for a good opportunity to address it, and john 11, verses 11-14 provides that opportunity.  Jesus was speaking figuratively, “Lazarus is asleep,” and the disciples didn’t get it.  Next week we’ll look at this passage.  But today, we’ll tackle this subtheme. 

            Misunderstanding Jesus, not getting the figures of speech he uses, figures of speech in which one thing is like another – this kind of thing happens again and again as you read john.  Why was Jesus speaking that way?  What does john, the author of the gospel of john want us, the readers to see?  Remember, john tells us in the last verse of his book that there were many other things Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, even the world itself would not contain the books which were written.  So john selects what to write down.  The truth guides his selection.  God’s spirit guides his selection.  And the meaning john wishes to communicate guides his selection.  So what is john trying to teach us by selecting to tell us, repeatedly, this people-not-getting-it business? 

            I’ll give you examples of what I’m talking about.  I tell you what I make of it.  And then we’ll try to apply what we learn. 

            John chapter 1, verse 10, says that Jesus, “was in the world, and the world was made through him, and the world did not know him.”  He has to open our eyes, he has to give us the ability to get it.  A huge message proclaimed throughout john is, we need the lord.  As John the Baptist says in chapter 3, verse 27, “a man can receive nothing, unless it has been given him from heaven.”  We won’t get it, receive it, accept, believe unless god gives it to us.  So, let’s ask god to do so.

 

 

 

            John chapter 2, verses 19 through 21, standing by the temple in Jerusalem, “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’  the Jews therefore said, ‘it took forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three years?’  but he was speaking of the temple of his body.” 

             in ways which I won’t take time to go into now – if you’re interested, ask me later – Jesus’ body is like the temple.  So Jesus was using a figure of speech in which one thing is like another, and they didn’t get it.

            john 3, verse 3 Jesus says unless a person is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of god.  Verse 4, the man he is speaking to says, “how can a man be born when he is old?  He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?”

            Jesus is using a figure of speech in which the beginning of a right relationship with god, spiritual birth is like physical birth.  The guy he is talking to doesn’t get it.

            john chapter 4, Jesus is speaking to this average, ordinary everyday woman at this well, verse 10, “Jesus answered and said to her, ‘if you knew the gift of god, and who it is who says to you, “give me a drink,” you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.’  she said to him, ‘sir, you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do you get that living water?’” 

            by living water, Jesus means the holy spirit.  One thing is like another, the life-giving, refreshing, reviving work of the spirit is like living water.  But the woman doesn’t get it.  She talks about water, h2o.

            chapter 6, verses 51 and 52, Jesus says, “’I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread also which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.’  the Jews therefore began to argue with one another, saying, ‘how can this man give us his flesh to eat?’”

            Jesus sacrificed his body on the cross.  If I count on that sacrifice as the only thing that can make me right with god, so I say, “Jesus come into my life.  Make me right with god on the basis of you taking the punishment I deserve on the cross and giving me your perfect righteousness,”  if I do that, receiving what Jesus offers, his body becomes eternal life-giving bread to me.  So Jesus is using a figure of speech in which one thing, bread, is like another, his body.  But they don’t get it.  I could go on, there are several more examples of this sort of thing. 

            then there is this word in chapter 11, verse 14, “then Jesus therefore said to them plainly…”  plainly.  The word is used 9 times in john’s gospel.  Sometimes it means publicly, openly, so Jesus was speaking openly, not in secret, not hiding away.  Sometimes it means without using a figure of speech, so not cloaking a meaning in a figure of speech.  And, often, Jesus was not speaking plainly.

            what are we to make of this?  If we are learning and becoming very familiar with the bible as a whole, some lights ought to go on when we see this, one thing is like another in john, because, the whole bible operates like this. 

            the figure of speech in which one thing is like another is called a metaphor.  And when you extend a metaphor so that it isn’t just a word or phrase but a whole story, that story is called a parable.  In a parable, one thing is like another and you’re told about one thing in order to teach you about another. 

            Jesus’ parable of the sower and the seed was not told to teach about farming.  Rather, because sowing seeds in the ground is like teaching truth to the heart, Jesus tells the parable to teach us things about how his instruction is received. 

            okay, why is Jesus doing this?  Why is this talking in parables happening in john?  When we get to john chapter 16, we’ll touch on this again and I’ll have something else to say about why.  For now three possibilities for why Jesus speaks in parables. 

            one, Jesus was a phenomenal student of god’s word, the bible, which for Jesus was the old testament, the new testament hadn’t been written yet.  Jesus’ thinking is steeped in old testament.  In the old testament, one thing is like another.  Jesus speaks in parables because the old testament as a whole, functions like a big parable containing all sorts of little parables. 

            Hosea chapter 12, verse 10, god says, “I have also spoken to the prophets, and I  gave numerous visions, and through the prophets I gave parables.”  The old testament is the writing of the prophets, breathed out by god and god says, “through the prophets, I gave parables.” 

            Hosea 12:10 states it and if I just observe as I read, throughout the old testament, one thing is like another.  The story of genesis 2 and 3 is like the story of Israel is like the story of the church.  The garden of Eden is like the tabernacle is like the temple is like heaven.  The future is like the past.  One thing is like another.

            if I read the old testament as only history, a book which gives me a window on to the past, so as I read, I look through that window and try to interpret what happened back in those days, if that is how I’m reading the old testament, I’m not going to get it.  I’m not going to see how it is talking, all the time, about Jesus, about his kingdom, the future. 

            when I read about Moses or David or Solomon or Israel in the old testament, I don’t only think about people who lived back in those days.  I think, “what am I learning about the messiah here because one thing is like another.”  I read about Israel in the promised land and ask, “what am I learning about god’s people in heaven?”  And I think that is how the new testament writers are reading the old testament.  And I think that is how Jesus read it and his teaching followed that same format.  He taught in parables.

            a second reason for this teaching in likenesses, how can you tell someone about things that are indescribably wonderful beyond our comprehension except by saying, “it is like this thing that we are familiar with?”  The bible is talking about things wonderful beyond our comprehension.   So it says, “it is like this.”

             a third reason, art, beauty.  Genesis 2, verse 9, “out of the ground the lord god caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food…”  not only good for food, not only useful, but also pleasing to the sight.  Creation is not merely useful, practical, it is beautiful.  God is an artist.  His word, is not merely useful, it is well written. 

            an artist doesn’t write a little paragraph into his painting telling you what everything is and why he painted it this way.  Part of appreciating is observing and studying in order to figure out what the artist was trying to express.  Much of the bible is not immediately obvious.  It has to be studied, observed, attented too.  But, if we remember as we read, one thing is like another,  “what other thing is the writer trying to tell me about by telling me about this part of the history of Israel?”  If we’re asking questions like that, I think we’ll make better progress in understanding.

            so that is one application, remember, as you read scripture, one thing is like another.  Application point number 2, throughout john, people don’t get it.  The disciples in our sermon text, Jesus says, “our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep…”  “the disciples then said to him, ‘lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.’”  come on guys.

            so you’ve got all of these people, who are like us, we don’t really know as much as we think we know.  We don’t get things.  We don’t understand why god let such and such happen.  There is so much we don’t know.  But, did you notice how often in our sermon text people are trying to correct or challenge Jesus? 

            verse 7, Jesus says to his disciples, let’s go to Judea.  They don’t say, “you know what you’re doing, lead on.’  they question, “rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?”  “do you really know what you’re doing?’

            Martha and Mary both say, “lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”  “where were you?  Do you really know what you’re doing?  Why weren’t you here?”  Verse 37, the crowds watching Jesus weep, some say, “could not this man, who opened the eyes of the blind man, have kept this man also from dying?”  ‘come on Jesus, why didn’t you do it this way?  Do you really know what you’re doing?”

            they come to the tomb.  Jesus says, “remove the stone.”  Do they say, “okay.”  No, questioning, correcting, Martha says, “lord, by this time there will be a stench, for he has been dead four days.”  Jesus, don’t you know about decaying bodies? 

            but here is the thing that I think is so wonderful, how does Jesus respond to this questioning, challenging?  He doesn’t.  I read through the text, there is no rebuke, no chastisement, no anger.  Jesus is so patient.

            we constantly question his wisdom, his care.  We complain, we worry, we fret – my good shepherd doesn’t know what he is doing in the way he is leading me and caring for me.  How comforting to read john 11 and see how patient Jesus is.  He keeps right on loving Martha and Mary and the disciples.  Jesus is patient with us.

            a third application, verse 15, Jesus says, “and I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe…”  Jesus wants his followers to believe.  That is good news.  He is not indifferent, just watching, “if you get it great, if you don’t, that’s your problem.”  No, he is not indifferent.  He wants his followers to get it and believe it.  And that gives us hope.  We’re slow to believe, slow to get it, but Jesus is patient and he wants us to believe – we’re not in this on our own, Jesus is at work.  Let’s pray.

In the city-for the city. What the Gospel of Jesus Christ can do!

Smells Like Holy Spirit

Check out this article by Stephen George on Sojourn, a church in Louisville. Remember that its written in a widely read Louisville paper that has no religeous ties. I’ve been to this church many times and have an affection for it and other church plants and neighborhoods in the area. My point in sharing this article is this: Birmingham can change.

For more information on Sojourn visit: www.sojournchurch.com/
Seed: seed.sojournchurch.com/
The 9:30: www.the930.org/
Busineses started in the Germantown neighborhood by Sojourn members: Quills
Sunergos

The Plurality of God and Man in Genesis 1-2:24 or Living Together

It very often seems that people in my neighborhood, even my next-door neighbors in my apartment complex, are not really next to me at all. While we may live next to one-another in proximity, we certainly don’t live together in any sense of the word. A neighbor gets up and eats breakfast and walks out the door to head to work. I do the same everyday yet I do not know where that person is going and I do not usually want to know. In this way we are very similar people, yet very separate. If my neighbor is any more similar to me, then he, like myself, is not content in this life lived alone. A life where we can eat, sleep, take showers, read and listen to music exactly one wall away from one-another and yet never know each others names. No one can actually want this! Yet this situation seems to be the preferred way for millions of Americans. We say we like it this way. We like our extreme privacy and autonomy. However, I have a hunch that other people probably feel like me and really do long for true connection with other people. Evidence of this can be found in the modern advent of the blogeshphere and social networking websites such as Myspace and Facebook where people become elated when they see that they’ve obtained a new “friend” with which to “connect”. But this type of connection is not real and it is not what God has prescribed for us. God knows our needs (He made them for a purpose!) and he has provided us with the necessary means to meet them. 

The answer has been with us since our very conception into this world; it has been with us since mankind was created. In the beginning of the Bible, Moses tells a story of how our God created the universe, including the world in which we live, including us. The story that Moses wrote is our story. The purpose and the needs of its main characters are paradigmatic to our purpose and the needs we have today. Specifically this Genesis narrative portrays firstly God as a plurality of persons (a community) and secondly Mankind, as a communal creature as well. He is a creature meant to be like its creator; a creature not meant to be alone. We are thus made in God’s image. Moses’ Purpose in Emphasizing Plurality in 1-2:24In Exodus 33:13 Moses recounts a time when he was appealing to God for his people. He said “please show me now your ways, that I may know you”. Moses seemed to believe that knowing God’s ways was the key to knowing God himself. Though it is dangerous to say what an author was thinking when he wrote, since we know that Moses thought this way, it is not entirely out of the question to say that this line of thinking indeed lies behind his creation narrative. For instance, in Exodus 20:8-11 God commands his people to rest on the seventh day based on the precedent that God rested on the seventh day(Gen2:2). Certainly Moses’ purpose was not merely to give an account of a historical event, though certainly it does. But Genesis, as a piece of literature, is so rich and glorious, too much so to be something as bland as that.Moses was telling his readers about God’s ways so that they may know God.  Knowing God is the ultimate answer to the problem of loneliness and following his ways is the road to reaching that goal. In emphasizing God’s plurality Moses gives the reader insight into one of God’s ways. In verse 26 he recounts that man was created male and female in God’s image. To image something is to represent its qualities faithfully.  Bruce Ware says that the idea “image of God” conceives of mankind as:created and finite representations (Images of God) of God’s own nature, that in relationships with Him and each other, they might be his representatives (imaging God) in carrying out the responsibilities He has given to them. In this sense, we are images of God in order to Image God and his purposes in the ordering of our lives and carrying out of our God-given responsibilities. 

Moses writes as though he intends his readers to imagine God in his plurality and be represent him faithfully in that way. He was teaching them about God’s plurality so that they may imitate this plurality.  This is why the first man and woman were created “male and female”.

                                       God’s Purpose in the Historical Events Recounted in 1:26-2:24Since we already emphasized that Genesis 1 and 2 are beautifully painted works of art and not just an account of historical events, we must now admit, as we already have, that it does indeed tell of historical events. What was the significance of these events at the time they took place? Moses can tell us a story that teaches us about the plurality of God and man but how did the first man and woman understand it themselves as history was unfolding?A term often used to describe the nature of such questions is “progressive revelation”. It means that God reveals himself in different ways progressively through time instead of all at once. It takes into account that revelation is a page-turning story rather than a single book that just fell like a rock from the sky. The first man and woman were provided with revelation of God’s nature by imaging God themselves. Their own experiences as God-imagers led them to a rightful understanding of who God is. In following this way of God’s plurality by living together in the fullest sense they walked with God in a relationship with him in the Garden. They knew him.So God has always provided a way for his people to know him. Weather it was the experiences of people before written revelation, weather it was the Law of Moses, or the fullness of revelation that we have today in the Bible, God has always provided. It is a great vantage point to be on this side of revelation. And what a blessing to have the words of Moses in Genesis 1-2 to give us insight into the way that we can image God in his plurality.                                                                                         God’s Plurality at Creation                 In Genesis 1:1-3 the reader is introduced to God. The word translated as God in English is actually Gods. It is the word Elohim which is the Plural form of the word El which means “God”.  It is used 2607 times in the Old Testament to refer to God.  This wide usage of a plural noun being the subject of many singular verbs isn’t just a case of bad grammar.  In being introduced to the first and main character, we are actually being told something very important about God that we will come to understand greater as we continue on reading.After God’s introduction onto the scene we have him immediately acting.  This is of course the act of creation.  Right after that the “Spirit of God” is seen hovering over the face of the waters.  Who or what is the Spirit of God? Since it is acting in a distinctive way from the rest of God, I would say that we are supposed to understand it as an independent person.  But where does this person come from?  It says that it is the “Spirit of God”.  If we are still thinking of the word Elohim’s plural nature then we could say that it is the Spirit from the community of God.  I think this verse gives us warrant to see the Spirit from verse 1 as a member of a society.  Much like we would say “Jesus of Nazareth” Moses may here be saying “Spirit of God (Elohim)”.So God is seen acting as a plurality because the Spirit’s action was pointed out independently. However we also see God acting in unity.  He speaks to create light among other things. So Moses stresses God’s acts of unity as well as each member’s distinctive acts. But the important thing is that God is plural in nature.  He is, from the outset, not alone unto himself but together unto himself.

In verse 26 Moses writes that God said “let Us create man in Our image…” Even Jewish (i.e. non-Trinitarian) translations translate it this way. Moses is making it very obvious in the Pentateuch that while God is one (Deut. 6) he is also a plurality of persons.

                                                                                                  Man’s Plurality:

His Job and His Need for Community In Genesis 1 and 2 Mankind is given authority and a job to do. He is to “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth”. Also in 2:5 Moses mentions that there was “no man to work the ground” implying that man, as part of his subduing the earth, was to take care of it and work it. Man had also been given a law to follow stipulating that he was not to eat of a certain tree in the garden. It is important to note here that chapter 2 is distinct from chapter one. Or more specifically that 2:4-24 is a magnification of the events of the sixth day of creation described more briefly in chapter 1. In chapter 1 God creates man and woman in his image and declares them “very good”. But in chapter 2 we see that this thing didn’t happen all at once but rather it was a process that took some thought and time. In other words, Man was not declared “very good” until after the creation of woman! Why is this? What is so special about her that mankind would not be complete and good enough without her? Before we answer that question we must look at what brought about the need for this woman. If we assume that God planned from the beginning to make man in his image then we can also assume that he planned from the beginning to make him male and female. However, God does not start there in 2:5. Instead he just creates the male first. Why? If it is God’s intention to make man in his plural image, then why would he make a lonely man? I would say that God is teaching Adam a lesson and in this lesson Moses is exposing our greatest weakness (and also our greatest strength). Moses quotes God as saying “It is not good that man should be alone”. Adam doesn’t have the privilege of just hearing this, he has to feel it. Adam hurt. He knew what it was like to be lonely. He knew that with all of this brand new life and all of this beautiful creation around him something was strangely wrong. The very fact that the first woman is called a helper is indicative of the fact that Adam needed help in fulfilling his purpose which was to do the job he had been given. And it is not just a mere job but it is a purpose, a reason to be. Adam’s story is very much our story and his purpose (having dominion over the earth, subduing it and keeping it) is our purpose. Why is it that it is this very privilege we wind up forfeiting at the fall? Why is it that the ground is fighting so fiercely back at us? Because in sin we have subverted and perverted our purpose therefore as a consequence we lost our ability to rule the earth effectively. Praise God for Christ, the new Adam come to build his kingdom and restore the true purpose of humanity as stewards of creation! So maybe now we understand the gravity of need here in Adam’s loneliness. He needs Eve as his wife to fulfill his purpose as a human being. However, Eve also fulfills Adam in another way — in his need for community. And she provides for that need in the most intimate way.  Why did Adam need his relationship with Eve? The relationship spoke to the nature of God’s relationship with himself. Their natural experience was a form of revelation about God. They had no writing and so God gave them knowledge of his plural nature by giving them a similarly plural nature. By plurality I mean that they are meant to be together as separate persons rather than separate persons who just happen to have a close proximity to one-another (like my neighbor and I). Therefore it was no joking matter when Moses quoted God as saying “It is not good that man should be alone.” To further our understanding of mankind being made in God’s image as male and female we ought to look at the creation of the woman and Adam’s reaction in 2:21-23. She is taken from Adam’s rib. After which Adam says “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh…” Then in verse 24 Moses interjects with the famous statement “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” From further revelation in the scriptures we now understand that each member of the Trinity is of the same essence yet each is a distinct person and somehow they are one. Adam and Eve got to know this from experience because as they imaged God in plurality, they saw that they were of the same essence yet obviously different and singular in person and they were one flesh. Application for Us TodayHow does the truth of God’s plurality when juxtaposed with the plural nature (need) of man affect the way we live today, or rather how should it affect us? The truth of God’s plurality gives us hope that our relationships may some day more perfectly mirror the relationship he has with other members of the Godhead. How would that look? Each member of the Godhead is a separate person with distinct roles and functions. Yet each of those functions works toward a common goal. In this way, among others (even unknown reasons), the persons are one. The goal for us would be to imitate God in such a way that we embrace our differences to reach a common goal. But what is that goal? Well, we can know what that is by returning back to Genesis 1 and 2. God gave mankind a purpose. That purpose consisted of subduing the earth, filling it, having dominion over it, and taking care of it. The ability to fulfill that purpose was lost at the fall of mankind into sin and corruption. However in God’s kingdom we will again assume our rightful place as inheritors of the earth. If Godlike plurality was necessary to fulfill that role to begin with, then it still is. God’s kingdom will come and all of our duties will be fulfilled because we are working together to do them. What about now though? How does knowing that things in the future are better affect the way we live in the present which is significantly worse? Well there is a way in which the Kingdom will come and a way in which it has come already. It is a tension that theologians like to call the “already/not yet”. We must learn to live in this tension and in a sense be the evidence of God’s kingship on earth by living in his kingdom and playing by his rules. To start, this looks like getting to know each other. If Joel and Cindy are members of the same church where they are supposed to care for one-another and the rest of the group but they don’t know the other person very well, their strengths and weaknesses, then their efforts to help one-another would be very uncoordinated,  inefficient and probably unfruitful.Obviously as stewards of the earth we must begin to reclaim our God-given responsibilities as such. That goes way beyond issues (good issues) of preservation and conservation of land, healthy farming, and other ecological concerns. Perhaps the easiest place to see how our plurality affects our earth-stewardship is in parenting! Though God can work grace in the midst of broken relationships and situations, the best way to come up as a child is with two male and female, monogamous parents. Parents ought to be good stewards of their kids and the two parents need one-another to be able to do that job the most effectively.But, while ecological concerns fall to one side of the issue and parenting falls to the other, where is the middle for those of us who are single or those of us who are looking to understand how our plurality ought to shape our everyday interactions with people. Perhaps that might look like me talking to my neighbor tomorrow. Finding out their name, where they work and just being nice to them. Perhaps that would go a long way in their mind and urge them not to seek solace in themselves but in people outside of them and ultimately in God. Typically, hanging out with people is not what comes to mind when someone mentions responsibility. But we are not made to be alone and as such and as Christians we ought to be the most social people on the planet! We must stop being content in this life lived alone and thus give a wake up call to those who think their happiness hinges on their autonomy when nothing could be further from the truth.                                                                                     

 

 Interpretation 59.2 (2005): 176-177

 

 2 Wayne Grudem ed., Biblical Foundations for Manhood and Womanhood(Wheaton, Ill: Crossway, 2002), 71-92.

 

3 However, we would agree that revelation is now complete. The book is closed, so to speak.

 

 Elohim Plurality, [on-line], accessed 7 November 2006, available from http://www.lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-hebrew/2002-January/012357.html; Internet

 

 Cornelius Plantinga Jr., Trinity, Incarnation, and Atonement, (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press 1989), 28.

 

 Trying to figure out God’s intentions is a dangerous thing when God has not specifically told one what they are. I believe that Genesis 2:4-24 is clear enough about these intentions. But I tread with caution into these waters and will say that this is my interpretation and that I’m open to hearing more valid ones.

 

 Bruce Ware, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: Relationships, Roles, and Relevance, (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2005), 144-45.

 

 This is not to say that this is the only way that they are one. There may be ontological ways in which the Godhead is one however that is not the topic of this paper.

 

 Thomas R. Schreiner and Ardel B. Caneday, The Race Set Before Us: A Biblical Theology of Perseverance and Assurance (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2001), 48-67.

 

 

Published in: on March 28, 2008 at 9:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

“Give a Moment of You’re Time to the Moment”

Gran Bel Fisher

I was listening to this song by Gran Bel Fisher, called Moment when I heard this line that went:                            

“This could be the day you say you’ve always been waiting for
So why you passing by the time that’s better than the time before?”

So it got me to pondering on what exactly it means to “live in the moment”.  Also, thanks to Ryan DeBarr for the excelent conversation about this issue.

           What does it mean to live in the moment? maybe it means to slow down and not worry about whats going to happen. Jesus even told us not worry about tommorrow but let it worry about itself. However, its apparent that we’ve taken the idea of living in the moment and turned it on its head by taking it to an extreme. instead of simply living in the moment, many of us find ourselves living for the moment. This can be seen in our obsesion with what is “relevant” to us today, or with our never-ending attempts to satisfy spontanious desires and pleasures. The problem with this is that it places our sole outlook inward. Kind of defeats the purpose of the word “outlook” doesn’t it?

           This way of thinking and living gives barely a thought to the consequences of our actions for the future and future generations of human beings. How is this corrected? is it an unnatural unatainable thing to corect or are we on the upward swing? The very embracing of this in-the-moment ideal is causing those who have embraced it to push away and this is because it leaves a feeling of estrangement, a feeling of emptiness that is, at least hopefully, creating a hunger. This hunger can be observed I think in the growing environmental concerns of people which I think comes essentially from a desire to provide something for the future and leave them a legacy that shows the importance of care. But why the sudden change? The hunger is greater than ever. People can see the folly of living for and giving into the moment. But don’t get me wrong, moments are very important. Time is essentially the succesion of moments. If we think about it, as temporal creatures, we can’t live in anything but a moment because thats all that presently exists. Living in the moment is good and we are destined to and always will live in it. But when does living in the moment change into living for the moment? I believe this happens when we cut ourselves off from history. When a single moment is taken out of the context of the moments that have gone before, it is extracted from its meaning, thus providing nothing but fodder for the one experiencing the moment. This then has adverse effects on the future. Who wants to hear “Out, damn’d spot! out, I say!—” without knowing that this comes from Lady Macbeth’s guilt of having conspired with her husband to murder King Duncan? It doesn’t mean anything!

           This estrangement from meaning is what I believe we are on the upswing from but we are not there yet. We need to embrace our history, we need to not only know dry, boring facts about history but see ourselves as part of this bigger story. Only when we see ourselves as central players within a stream, as the inheritors of a story that is now in our hands, as part of the big story of the universe, then and then only will we be able to truly live in the moment, because the moment will have value and provide sustanence for future generations who look back to us and see themselves as part of the story we passed on to them. What chapter will we add to the story? will it be significant and show a continuity with the story we’ve been handed, or will it be a sound bite or a blurb?

Published in: on November 13, 2007 at 6:36 am  Comments (2)