Thursday, April 12, 2012

Theology Thursday #4: Every Moment

My Aunt found this picture of my Grandfather, Donald Peabody Abbott this past summer. I scanned it in my computer because I liked it so much. It's a classic St. Paul scene: the back alley in spring in the Midway neighborhood of St. Paul. Judging from the car in the back, it was probably taken in the mid- to late seventies.

He's gone now. Has been for over 20 years. All our family has today - I all have - are stories and photos and memories, too. Moments 

Our lives are so temporal, so fleeting. A phrase I often used when I was an ELCA pastor was one that was given to me from my Grandmother - every moment's a gift. Some days that gift doesn't feel very much like a gift, though.

I think what it most unique about following Jesus of Nazareth is that the story invites you to understand that God chooses to be in all moments, all places. In this way, all things are filled up in him. I actually have a tattoo of this on my arm, to remind me that every moment is a blessing from the Creator himself. Every picture snapped is only a chemical reaction on paper capturing the light in that time (or, today, more likely digital pixels on magnetic media). The cross, I feel, isn't so much about sacrifice or atonement in the sense of blood sacrifice. It's more that God injects God's self into every moment, even the bad ones, so that all things are filled up in God, the Infinite One.

In light of my previous posting, it might be strange to read this, because of how agnostic a tone it took. What I believe is the story has power - that power is its ability to break into your life and make all things new, if only through hope.

By the way, this-filling-up-of-all-things is in the Bible. It's from Ephesians 1:10 and Paul uses a great word. Anakephalaiosasthai is the Greek transliteration. It comes from Greek mathematics as being the sum of all things. Christ, he then goes on to describe, is that sum of all things.

All things are filled up. All things are made new. Every moment's a gift.

1 comment:

Carol said...

Every moment is a gift--thank you for continuing to share your life and perspective...