hidden glory

Thursday, September 22, 2005

delving into poetry

I wrote this poem last semester when I was grappling with an inward dilemma of whether or not to trust God. It's hard to give up our (apparent) control to one who is Unseen. And it's hard to be honest with our questions.


Dare I hope?
I dare not hope.
I dare not not hope.

Can I surrender control?
Or control surrender?
Will I surrender controlling surrender?

Are these only words?
And are words only questions?
Or do I question words?

Is life music?
Or is music life?
Can music be found in life?

Is God real?
Or is real God?
Is God the real I can’t see?

Real hope.
Real surrender.
Real words.
Real life.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Gospel: what does it mean to you?

I was in an amazing class tonight where we discussed "Paradigms for Biblical Metanarrative"--which in non-seminary language is translated, "Different ways of viewing the story of the Biblical gospel." What's ironic is that my professor made an aside about how overused the word "metanarrative" is in blogs. Funny that I couldn't even make it past my second post without using it. And that he in fact inspired me to discuss it.

So it got me thinking about how do I view the story that has defined my life? That I willingly claim identity with? Not because I am worthy of being joined to God, with audacity claiming that I am now his daughter even. I don't act like someone who is in the family with the one who defines love. I'm not a good person--which you would know if you spent a day with me inside my head. In fact, anytime that I am in fact "good," I'm usually doing it with the sole purpose of being noticed for being so good. Which would then mean I am failing to be truly good. A sick cycle of hopelessness and defeat.

All of this brings me back to the question of how I view the gospel and what it means to me. Two of the common themes we discussed were those of fellowship/alienation/union and freedom/bondage/liberation. The three parts are basically: (1) humanity started out good, on good terms with their Creator and creation (2) humanity ruined it by their choice to do what their good God had commanded--and all creation ached with them in alienation (3) God stepped in, fixing the mess humanity had made and in fact bringing them and all creation to a better place than where we first began. Or, I should qualify, beginning the process of bringing humanity (and creation with it) to a better place. We don't have to look too much further than the nightly news to see that in many ways we're still stuck in phase 2. Sin's stain is everywhere--there is much in the world that needs to be made right. And that is the present work of the church. We are to be representatives of Jesus Christ who are bringing better things to people. Giving hope where there is despair; food where there is hunger; relief where there are floods; friendship where there is loneliness; grace where there is condemnation.

Some other ways of describing this 3-part story suggested by my classmates were: health/sickness/new life*dignity/degradation/glorification*abundance/scarcity/feasting*and my own half-joking suggestion: dating/break-up/marriage.

What do you think? Which one do you like? Do you have others to add?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

hidden glory

hmm...my first post. there's a lot of pressure...so I'm just going to start with the quote that inspired the blog title.

"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us." ~the apostle Paul in his 2nd letter to the Corinthians

We are glorious beings. Yet the glory is hidden. Beneath sin, failings, and simply the frailty that comes with being human.

I desire to explore this strangely beautiful dichotomy in which we are appointed as image bearers of hidden glory. And to invite others into this journey with me.