Arts creation Theology

Homo laudans

It has often been said that people have a God shaped hole they need to fill. The Gospel is then presented as good news, that the hole can be filled.

It is, of course, true that like the father in the story of the prodigal son, God rushes from the house to meet us in our need. Jesus became low in order to lift us up, and we should call on our saviour in times of need.

However, what if you are one of the people who experiences God in the sparkling of light on the water? Or for whom the joy of tasting brambles and of just “living life” is a constant reminder of the presence of God. Perhaps then the Gospel for you is not characterised by the filling of an absence.

When you read in the Gospel of John that “… But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, …” this can the recognition of an overflowing of abundance found within the core of your being. A natural inclination to praise God that finds it’s shape in the unfolding story of Christianity.

What if the feelings of disatisfaction many experience within their christian life could be described as a hunger to expand their awareness. Just as children experience an urge to grow beyond the familiar safe space that those who care for them create, if we are filled with potential by God then this will drive us to seek more of God in the unfamiliar.

Rather than wondering why the “God shaped hole” isn’t filled no matter how much you give up or deny yourself, perhaps it is time to rest and remember the confidence God has in you and in who you are becoming. Trust that the yoke is easy and burden light.

Take time to remember how the sunlight sparkles on water, gather brambles that grow wild in hedgerows, and discover new ways of joining with creation to praise God for the things that make your heart sing.

And for those who like reading theology:

John Reuben Davies, “Human being and the praise of God” ch2 in “Made in the Image of God” Ed. Michael Fuller & David Jasper Sacristy press 2021

0 replies on “Homo laudans”

I found being outside at the Crichton last Sunday quietly uplifting to my soul. We spent time standing on moist grass, listening to the wind in many trees and all responding as individuals to song and words as we looked at each other or at the distant hills.
It was a simple and beautiful way of worshipping God and did make my heart sing.

The words of this blog have the beauty of holiness…Jesus became low to lift us up, and all of creation. Alleluia.

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