Monday, August 15, 2011

God's Job Makes it to the Small Screen

Scads of my former freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors - were they watching a recent Colbert Report - must have heard Colbert's opening question, "What is God's Job?" only to shout out, "God's Job is to make things to be." Father Martin's response, "Sustaining the universe" is a good answer, although it can give the appearance that there is a universe that God has found and now sustains. The way my students learn it, there is anything at all because God makes it to be (like a musician holding a note - if the musicians stops playing, the notes are no longer).

This clip, to my mind, is great public theology because it gets to the heart of a question that really presses on the minds and hearts of countless individuals. Is there a God and what the heck does God do? Very often, it seems, people think of God as a genie or a capricious parent: if I wish hard enough, or am pleasing enough, God will do what I want. How far this is from the picture of Genesis where God creates and beholds creation as "good." All that is, is good not because of something that it has done, but simply because it is.

My critical question for students is always this: if God's job is to make things to be, what do we do with Jesus? The Incarnation is the bold doctrine that the Holy Creator of the Universe has taken flesh, that the One Who Makes Things to Be has taken a role on the stage of human history. What, then, do we see? We see a man healing the lame, reaching across religious and political boundaries, curing ailments, and permitting people "to be" fully human. Jesus doesn't obliterate our humanity...he shows us what it means to be fully and truly human.

Now almost seven years (August 21, 2004) since entrance and five years (August 13th) after profession of vows in the Society of Jesus, I can say only that my companionship with Jesus has led me to be become more fully human. The evolving narrative of this process has played itself out on these digital pages. I have not put my life and faith in Jesus Christ because an ironclad argument has been shown to me but because this friendship has made me increasingly whole. For this growing wholeness and the joy it has brought to me, I am eternally grateful to the Society of Jesus and, if this joy is able to be poured out to others, that is the other great grace in my life.

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