Clouds of unknowing
What a beautiful sermon for me today. It’s always AND isn’t it? What an encouragement to this Ex fundie that only ever saw the stories as literal and never looked at them in a mystical way. Thank you Diana. Your wisdom is always so helpful for me.
Your comments were a wonderful follow-up to the sermon I heard this morning about the roll community played/must continue to play in Christianity. Thanks for your additional insights.
All of this writing is helpful to/for practicing Faith and Resurrection in a time where there is huge unrest in all walks of life. Yes , I worship a God I know and the same God of whom, I can also say is unknown to me . Perhaps I am not alone. Thanks to current scholarship coming out I know more and at the same time I know less. And that is OK. It helps me to let God be God and use my time and hands for the Kinship in God that is already here and the kinship that is to come. There is certainly a lot of work to do. Not so simple thoughts but, perhaps calming.
After reading this Diana, I thought of the song "Let the Mystery Be" by Iris DeMint. I particularly love this video:
There is another experience in these scriptures Jesus promises to believers, “ to be baptized with the Holy Spirit, and to receive the power of the Holy Spirit”. We need this Holy Spirit power to fulfill His plans and purpose for our lives.
I an so excited that you are having him on your luncheo. The Family is a terrifying documentary on how the Right gained power. I saw it several years ago, and urged my congregation that it was a must to see
Thank you Diana.
I have found that there is a wonderful relief that develops in unknowing, when I remember it is OK😊. The relief of not having to produce answers, the relief of not having to analyze. Oh, yes, I love knowing; I love the thrill and energy in knowing and the kinship that is created in those profound settings where prophecy and law and lots more tingle my senses. And yet…I have come to realize that when I truly allow myself to be open to the unknown, that is when the deep life questions about meaning and what it is to be fully human emerge - and they can rest as questions in prayerful contemplation. Would that this message today stays with me as a reminder of the wholeness of knowing plus unknowing!
Yes, living between revelation and mystery, knowing and not knowing, this is divine-human dilemma--trusting nevertheless.
Even when we can’t articulate our experience we can “have” it. Unknowability is still an experience. When experience cannot be languaged, your words help to sort out different mystical experiences in prayer: “the kind that reveal who God is — that which can be known; and the kind that reveal who God is not — that which cannot be known.” thank you.
Thank you for your reference to the view of evangelicals, which I experienced. It helps in the process of rethinking theology.
“Ultimately, resurrection leaves us with both wonder and wondering...
We are called to get on with things — witnessing to and working for love and justice to the ends of the earth.”
Seeing you in Colorado Springs helped me to make a big decision for my daughter and me. I’ve been living alone in a cloud of rejection by several congregations in my new community, all who judged us and made us feel unwelcome. It led me to find you thru your writings and to get to know you here at The Cottage, my safe congregation of critical believers who have the same spirit. Hearing you there, sitting among members of a congregation who honor your work as I do, and who have welcomed me and my work on inclusion. I’m taking a huge leap of faith to move there, and I still see the clouds on the horizon. But I’ve been welcomed into a group of disciples who have said, “Come, walk with us!”
What do you think of The Family by Jeff Sharlet?
"Resurrection leaves us with both wonder and wondering. But, it is reassuring that unknowing is part of faith as well". Thank you, Diana.
Diana, another excellent and truly insightful reflections...so much for me to use for my Pentecost "retreat"...
Your picture of the beauteous cloudy as you leave DC speaks to me on many levels...primarily "leaving" DC and all its conundrums behind...
Since everything happens now, what if the common perception of Christianity that the second coming is going to happen in the future is only placing out of reach what is already here? Taken in its entirety, the Bible paints a portrait of completion that always includes knowing and not knowing as a continuum of actual experience. In this realm of growth, ascension is an embodied presence, an awareness of the grace of pure love which encompasses everything. Once we stop separating, union occurs and we are all in the same cloud, the good, beautiful, bad and ugly as one evolving creation.
“In this mystical experience, the presence of God in the form of a cloud descends and envelops Jesus and his friends. They are within the cloud — only once they are inside of the divine do they finally hear the voice of love. No wonder they were afraid. Can we even begin to imagine what it would be like to be completely enfolded in sacred belovedness without trembling?”
God (or whatever name we use for the Creator) is our Home, our Center, our place of groundedness. So I’ve always wondered why it is assumed that we will tremble in the presence of God or when “completely enfolded in sacred belovedness.” It is surely an experience full of awe and magnificence…breathtaking, stunning, and more. But it is, indeed, an experience — one that I believe with all my being is meant for and available to all if we are willing to open our minds and hearts to participation in the Great Mystery. I do not believe this is available to a chosen few. I believe we are meant to be completely enfolded in sacred belovedness, hearing the voice of Love. It is a way of life, a way of being that generates awe. For me, this is the way to live, look, enact, dwell, and cherish.
Thank you, Diana, for another thoughtful post. I really do enjoy your writings!