social spark Aisling Beatha: What Is or What is Not?

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Friday, September 06, 2013

What Is or What is Not?

I am currently taking part in an online course for Christian creative people at Epiphany Art Studio.


The classes only began this week so you would not be too far behind if you joined us now.
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I'll share a piece of art work I did in response to the first class later but for today I wanted to share my thoughts in response to a passage of scripture we were asked to consider.

A New Heaven and a New Earth?
No more sickness
No more sorrow
No more death
No more grieving

But this is not enough.  This alone can never adequately describe the new heaven and new earth.  How can you accurately describe something only by explaining what it is not, the things it has not and the things it will never be.

A football for instance, (in this case soccer, because I am a Brit after all) is not square, is not flat, is not hairy or tasty or best after midnight.  It doesn't have legs, or a nervous system and it will never be the best method of powering a spacecraft.

If you had never seen or heard of a football before (and possibly never seen any other ball for playing with) you would be very little wiser as to what a football actually was.

If I said this, however, you would understand much more.  A football is an inflated spherical object, made commonly of plastic, although in the past of leather.  It is used in a sport played by 2 teams who use their feet and occasionally their heads to propel the ball to the opposite end of the field of play and between two posts into an area known as the goal.

So, back to this new heaven and new earth.  What of it?  We have to use our imaginations a little and think on what else we know of God.

In the absence of sickness, there will be fullness, there will be well being, there will be health like we have never known.
In the absence of sorrow there will be joy that goes on and on forever but never gets boring or old, or normal.
In the absence of death there will be life to be lived, abundantly, enthusiastically, without question or hesitation.

We will be the bride adorned.  We will know what it means to be loved.  We will live in and be a beautiful city, a place of light and of Glory.


We, the bride?  The beautiful city?
How many of us when asked to describe ourselves, to talk about who we are and what we do will tend, at some point, to think of the things we are not, the things we don't have and the things we "could do better"?

I'm not saying give up trying.  I'm not saying settle for less than all you could be and just go with what you think you are now.  I'm not saying accept sin like a cloak that cannot be removed.

I'm suggesting, however, that we switch our focus for a while, from what we are not to what we are, from what we have not, to what we have and from what we cannot do to what we can.

Think on that for a while and I will return to it in the next few days.



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