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The Strange Strategy of God
by: Susan Eapen, BangaloreI know that many of you may find my ideas subjective and that of a Presbyter. But what I believe in are from my own experiences of life and encounter with God in that life of 53 + years. In my childhood, God the Father was for me a bearded old man and God the son, a handsome Jesus. The Holy Spirit was a mysterious dove sending rays of light from its beak, in an upside down position over the Father and the Son. They were up there in heaven, watching over me and noting my actions in a book. Later, these pictures have merged into darkness. I do not understand the Theology of the Trinity, but I understand that Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all God. Where Jesus is, the others are, where the Holy Spirit is, the others are. From the Orthodox Church Sandhya Namaskaram I understood that Psalm 91 is for me also. I am a child of God. What more do you need, but to know that you are loved by God especially and immensely and so is every one else? That the unconditional love of God, does not change, but your experience of Him may change depending on your position. So is God a weakling who is so loving as to let his children do what they want? Is the option for the Cross weak? God's strategies are far from obvious. Nor can one predict the movement of the Spirit by any science. Only Spirit recognizes/discerns Spirit. Why else do the Catholic have Spiritual Directors and not Psychologists? The Bible, in my experience, changes in meaning depending on one's perception and also the revelation of God. God too has a hand in it. The science of study of the Bible based on Hermeneutics may apply to studying the Historical aspects of the Bible but not other-wise. it is also a powerful tool to fight the twisted teachings of some groups who twist the Bible for material gains. If it is to be studied only based on History or the times, then it looses Spiritual Significance. If the story of the leper read during the Great Lent is to be understood as being about the compassion of Jesus, the pitiable state of lepers, the power of Jesus etc. then what is so great about it? It can be studied and preached about and you will remember the lesson for a long period and also strive to let your life be guided by it. But this seed will not give the desired yield. Viewed in this manner, our worship gets to be repetitive and boring. If Bible, or at least part of it was "God breathed" our understanding depends on the opening of our eyes by the Holy Spirit to its significance. Why else does the prayer before reading the Bible in our Sandarbhochitha Praarthanakal ask God to open the 'eyes of our hearts' to see its Mysteries and to help us to use it to escape the devil? Why does the prayer after reading the Bible ask God to help us live in the light of the Bible? Why are we exhorted to come near God to listen to the word, with praise and sacrifices at the reading of the Evangel? Does it speak of a scientific approach or a total movement of oneself towards God- a surrender? The one who teaches is the Holy Spirit. The one who calls is also God, the one who makes grow is also God. But first, we have to come near God, as in the song "sthuthi balikal anacheriduvin" How do we come near Him? Is not every Eucharist a call to come? I will tell you, how I came, if you would allow me, in the next few days. You may call me a mad old woman, a presbytera, but as God is my witness, the story is real. It may have been a chemical reaction of the brain, but to me it is real.
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