a theology of renewal: when words fail us

We banter around old words like democracy, education and nation-building.

And new words creep in: stress. uncertainty. not knowing. fear.

When words we trust fall short, the soul knows what it needs. When everything else is changing faster than we can comprehend, there is peace in knowing what does not change, what will last. And not fail.

Even as the old-world order seems to falter, we can still find deep rest in simple prayer, in connecting with a holy God. In knowing we are known. And loved. The theology of renewal is ours for the having. Faith that is real is not the stuff of legend or the path of superstition, it’s the source of sanity. The bedrock of a realm our souls have long called home.

When words like government, corporations and institutions fail to inspire our faith, trust and hope, we are not without inner resources to weather the storm.

When people in power fail those they aim to serve, when they fail to provide what they said they could provide, there is a place we can call our own. A future we can bank on. A spiritual treasure chest to draw on, to destine us as liberators; not captives.

Our newly minted new-world order seems to be running without vision or ideals anyone can rally or adhere to: the commons are not thriving because there is no common vision.

A plutocracy exists to serve itself. It has, by definition, no worthy heroes. And… it needs no votes. It just is.

This can’t be good.

Yet, we know God hears the cry of his people. Those who cry out to him in heaven to dwell with us in the cave of our retreat, scratching pictographs on damp walls, reworking what it means to stand upright. Somehow, we know this is not the prelude to the Next Enlightenment. We sense things might get worse before they get better. And yet, we persist: again and again, we pray for light. We seek to understand. We want to align with the deeper work of God in our times.

And so, we grow silent. Personally, this gives me hope.

To pause is to consider that God might want us to be silent with him, for a moment. I have come to trust this silence in solitude. I’m re-reading Thoreau. And relying on my daily bible reading to guide me through. I feel I know what it is to hear God. I find peace.

In this moment of reflection, I sense this is the time to get alone, to be real and generous and kind to our soul’s wish to fly with eagles, not crawl with worms. To live on a higher plane, even as governing creeds we once called our true aim, collapse. Implode. Deflate.

Silence will not kill us. But our dependence on finding the right words just might.

The world will not end with a bang or a whimper.

The world, in fact, will not end. Rather, there will be an end to injustice. There is an end, because there is a greater reality—God and our kinship with him—that will not, does not and cannot end. God is infinite. God is just. God is good. And these things can be rediscovered by a people seeking to be heard by a God who is just now silent, save to those who seek to deeply listen. Who yearn to lean in, to be held; to find the strength to hold others up. To be found as heroes.

And so, the life of prayer on earth grows daily. And we are heard. And joy is rising.

There is an eternal aspect to these pictographs of eagles flying just shy of the sun. People are looking for hope they can bank on. We want to trust. We are made to trust. And so, we are going deeper than we have gone before… and this is good news.

At the end of the line, we find ourselves searching for the “right direction” and finding it lies within; we are no longer certain of systems. We are losing faith in what has failed us; and finding our faith renewed in what has never really changed. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. Our souls know this. Truth is deep. And it’s everlasting. And it can be trusted. And, in this case, loved.

The theology of renewal is deeply personal.

Be still and know that I am God, says the Psalmist. I love these words.

These are good words. From everlasting to everlasting, we are his. We are meant to be in union with God. While other ties are being tested to the point of breaking, people are shoring up their energy. Taking time to pray; learning how to have faith in what is unseen rather than what is seen. To trust God rather than to fear Man.

Secure in the love and knowledge of God, we find we can afford to love one another, regardless of our economic, political or statistical standing in the current universe. Our spiritual standing before God is beginning to count for more than we realized it might be worth.