Preparing Your God Love Story
It’s so mysterious that Holy Cross will soon embark upon a ‘Story-telling’ opportunity for her community. Opportunities to both tell and to listen, a rehearsed improvisation so to speak, which will prepare you to welcome your new rector, into your love story and journey with God and one another. Another ‘gift’ of this initiative by the Education and Formation team is that you’ll be ‘doing theology’!
Most people do not think of themselves as theologians. “Theological vision” is not a talent many would be inclined to claim. “I’m just a lay person,” many say. They seem to imply that the baptized have no special relationship with or access to God. The tradition they have received is that, lacking ordination or theological training, there is less value to their vision.
I have also heard ordained persons say, “I’m not a theologian,” lifting up at once disdain for the theoretical and a misunderstanding about what it means to do theology. We do theology when we embrace our faith tradition the only authentic way we can—with our experience. We do theology when we receive the tradition and chew on the biblical record of how our mothers and fathers in the faith heard and wrestled with God’s word. We do theology when we attempt to authenticate our own experience of God’s presence in our lives by bringing it to the faith community. We do theology when we apply our own insights, our own metaphors, our own artful imagination, our own experience to what we have received. We do theology when, in these many ways, our faith seeks understanding. That’s what Thomas Aquinas said theology is: “faith seeking understanding”.
We live our lives by theological vision—our own or someone else’s.
To do theology as Church, as faithful people gathered together seeking an understanding of God and God’s will for us, is essentially to compose our life together with God. Telling our stories of faith, to one another, is akin to historic storytellers like Martha Graham or Alvin Ailey composing the beauty of a dance. We’re like Duke Ellington composing a jazz symphony. God has given each of us the genius and the command to improvise in ways that no one else can, practicing improvisation and works in progress.
I look forward to hearing about your dance with God.