Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Spirituality of Mystery

It is exciting to see a new year come. It’s a great time to look forward to what God might do as well as a personal time of starting off the year with anticipation. For me, it is not so much about typical New Year’s resolutions. I do have ideas about next year’s adventures, but what really delights my soul is not thinking of the things I want to do. It’s imagining the surprises the year will bring, the mystery that will unfold.

Mystery. It’s a word we crave because it gives us hope that there is meaning beneath the surface and adventure to discover around the bend. Yet we are uncomfortable with mystery at the same time. It can be disconcerting when we are reminded that life is beyond our control.

In recent months, I have been sharing some of my spirituality on blog posts from time to time. As we move into 2012, I would like to share about my “Spirituality of Mystery.” I believe there is so much more we don’t understand than what we can hope to fathom. Life is a great mystery to be explored, and ultimately God is mystery. God does not spell everything out. God beckons. God coaxes and calls. And when we respond to that magnetic yearning God has for us, we enter more deeply into the vast ocean of grace.

In today’s technological culture, we tend to keep our faith “above the neck”, an exercise in the head instead of letting it descend to the heart. We reduce our religious affections to the realm of politics, morality, or philosophical exercise. Since a deep encounter with God transforms us, this is a defense mechanism, another way of keeping God at bay. We search the scripture for ideas that support our pre-conceived notions, and we approach the Bible in hopes of mastering its information.

But what the heart needs is not more information. It’s FORMATION. There is a beckoning call for us to grow comfortable with mystery in an age fixated on certainty. When we encounter God as mystery, God’s love transforms us in a way that delights the soul.

In Christ, God is mystery revealed. Jesus did not come to reveal information about God. He came AS the revelation of God. God is mystery, and the mystery is love. I light a candle at many church meetings because I am passionate about the mystery of Christ’s presence. It changes everything about our life together when we recognize it.