When taping a local spiritually focused TV show, the host asked me what The Roofless Church was all about. My first response was that it was my opportunity to give. The second thing that came up was that a church with no roof symbolizes the idea that God cannot be confined to a building or box like most of us believe. God is everywhere and in everything. And although I often use this blog to share some of what I’ve witnessed from my relationship with God as I know Him, I don’t for one second believe that I have God on lock. I’m know I’m blessed if one percent of what I write here touches the magnificence of what my heart has felt in allowing myself to trust in a peace that surpasses all understanding.
I probably should have underlined, capitalized, bolded,and italicized the words “all understanding” written above because I think that most people who talk God talk don’t realize that God cannot be understood. If He could be understood, would we even need Him? Would we require any faith to walk with Him? I think not! Now, of course I believe we can know God for ourselves, but to understand God, would be to limit Him–to conceptualize Him. In order to do that, you would have to not only completely know Him for yourself, but also for everyone and everything else that ever was, that is now, and that will be. If we had that capacity as humans, we probably wouldn’t even be talking about God in the first place. We’d just be living God–meaning walking around as 6 billion + Christs in Love.
Hey, I’m open to believing that that’s exactly what’s going on and that I’m the clueless one that is perceiving all the wars, thievery, lies, pollution, etc. to mean that we all aren’t getting along as well as we could. But just in case, I will continue my rant. So where was I? Oh yeah, we can’t understand God. “Why not?” you ask. Well because, GOD IS NOT A MAN!!!
For those of you who don’t read the Bible at all, you probably already know that or at least assume it. Funny how that works isn’t it? What I’ve witnessed is, like the Pharisees and Sadducees (scriptural scholars who wanted Jesus dead), a lot of people who actually read the Bible often trick themselves into believing that because they know scriptures by memory, they understand God. On the other side, the people who don’t read it usually have the advantage of being more receptive to God’s, often mysterious, influence because they accept that there are things about God that they just don’t understand. They’re open to the Unknown. Sure they may not even acknowledge God had anything to do with some loving action they took, but if your heart is open, you can see God at work. Just look at children and you’ll see what I mean. Why do you think Jesus was always kicking it with children, sick people, tax collectors, and “sinners”? It was because they were open to learning. Awareness of our own lack of understanding is the first prerequisite of learning. Just read below as Paul describes the UNKNOWN GOD to the men of Athens in Acts 17:
Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you: 24 God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. 25 Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. 26 And He has made from one blood[c] every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ 29 Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising.
After reading this passage, I never understood how people could continue to believe that they can confine God to their personal concepts and interpretations. Nor could I understand how they can feel comfortable telling others how to relate or not relate to God. But then again there is a lot I do not know. My heart tells me that by focusing on loving God and striving to share that love with others without judging, we become living invitations for people to know God for themselves. If anything I feel humbled that I even have the capacity to think about God at all.
One thing that my life has shown me is that the ability to Love is a gift that comes from God. Jesus saw loving your neighbor as yourself as equal to loving God with all of your heart, mind, and soul. Why? My heart, mind, and soul tell me it is because in order to know the Love of God, we must extend our love beyond ourselves as God does. As I mentioned before it is beyond the individual human capacity to understand God because God is beyond the definitions of man. However, we can know God for ourselves. Now just imagine if we truly loved our neighbors as ourselves. How much more of God could we know?