|Seeking knowledge of God, with a touch of holy humor thrown in|
|Written by BILL RYAN Sentinel Religion Editor|
|Friday, 24 August 2012 09:43|
Knowledge is power, according to a popular maxim which traces its roots to a Latin phrase.
Most people of faith concur God is all knowing, and thus, God has the power.
Even the Bible tells us, "For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength." (1 Corinthians 1:25)
Because God is so vital to people's lives, there is a hunger for more knowledge, to grow closer to God. We find wisdom through God's power.
Virtually every church offers some type of Bible study for its members. People of faith crave to learn more about God. The knowledge enriches our minds, enriches our souls, enriches our faith life.
During a prior discussion with Rev. Kathryn Helleman, a pastor and seminary instructor, she talked about the paradoxes in our faith-thinking.
Namely, she referred to the concept of Jesus Christ being both fully human and fully divine. It is a complex topic and difficult for many believers to fully grasp.
"We have these Greek-wired minds that want to answer everything in a rational way. The Hebraic mind says of course its a paradox. Why would it be anything else? Yet we have this very western mind that says of course there has to be an answer," Helleman said. "There is, but it's not an answer accessible to you in a finite human body."
While it is a good habit to always be a seeker of knowledge, we also have to accept, we may not fully understand everything we desire, at least not as long as we inhabit our human bodies.
We cannot fully understand why people get sick; we cannot fully understand why good people and innocent people die young; nor can we understand why others can't believe the same things we do ... for God's sake!
Helleman confirmed a belief that, in our humanity, we often like to think it would be an ideal situation "to have all the nice, neat and tidy answers" for all our questions.
Though rationally she says her mind overrules.
"If there were only nice, neat and tidy answers and there were no questions, I don't know what I would do. I think I would shrivel up," she said.
It's in the walk of faith, the trek toward knowledge that we thrive. As believers, we are seekers. We always need to expand our mind and our concepts of our powerful God.
Many people are very serious about their faith and their thinking of God. To that end, sometimes neglect the lighter side of life and faith.
"When we get to the point when we take ourselves and our faith so seriously, that we can't see the ways that are funny, we may have crossed a line that God never intended us to cross," Helleman says.
"When I read the scriptures, I think there are times when Jesus is sarcastic. There are times when he is funny and the disciples don't get it. They (the disciples) also delight me because sometimes they are me. There are times in my life when I know I just don't get it," she said.
"When we reduce the person of Jesus and refuse to think of him as truly fully human - fully human means wired with a sense of humor, a sense of the ridiculous and the sense of the sacred and a sense of the serious - we lose the true nature of Jesus," Helleman adds.
Some churches embrace the humor and have held "Humor Sundays" when the service focuses on the lighter side of God.
The idea that even God laughs is mentioned several times in Psalms. "He who sits in heaven will laugh, the Lord will mock them." (Psalms 2:4)
Other similar passages in Psalms speak of God laughing sarcastically or mocking those who would do wrong. That is not necessarily showing a funny sense of humor.
As humor is most often subjective, we will refrain from other quotes (there are many) in the Bible which some may find amusing and others not.
Most people can find humor in at least some parts of the Bible.
Every faith tradition has been the butt of a joke at one time or another, and most are done in good taste and with good intentions. Often through humor we learn.
Of course, God has a sense of humor. God also wants us to laugh at ourselves and with others.
There is a great power for us in the knowledge, as humans, we cannot fully understand everything about God. Sometimes, all we can do is laugh and enjoy our life as we constantly strive to learn more.
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