There are many things about religion which boggle my mind. Among my top five is the concept that after the Bible God stopped speaking. Surely that is what the fundamentalists (who believe that the Bible is the literal word of God) must believe. And surely that must be what all those who believe Christianity is the only “right” religion must think. In their minds, God must have stopped speaking.
Now, I suppose I could be wrong about my logical assessment of the situation. But, if God continues to speak, that opens up a whole world of possibilities I posit would be fairly uncomfortable to those with more legalistic, conservative, fundamentalist viewpoints. Afterall, if God is still speaking, who is controlling what God says? Who is controlling who God speaks to or through? Who is making sure that God only promotes one religion and one way of doing things? Who is making sure that God judges the “right” people? Certainly, it is much easier (for some) if God simply stopped speaking long ago.
Personally, my brain can’t grasp the concept of God not speaking anymore. The God I know is a living, moving, interactive force of love in this world. That force has no boundaries. The Divine has unlimited ways and means of reaching and transforming people. I believe that God has continued to speak throughout history wherever love, peace, compassion and justice have been sought. I also believe that God still speaks in an infinite number of ways. God speaks through nature and creation. God speaks through our children and our dying. God speaks through theologians and spiritual leaders. God speaks through contemporary authors, poets, musicians and artists. God speaks through other faith traditions. And, as crazy as it sounds, God can even speak through you and me when we allow ourselves to be intimately connected to that unbounded love.
Because I believe so strongly that God continues to speak, I’ve decided to incorporate other sacred and secular readings into our Sunday morning worship experiences. Of course there will always be a reading from the Bible, but the wonderful stories, advice, guidance and wisdom of scripture can be informed and illuminated by the wisdom and knowledge of others. There is so much good stuff out there that can broaden our minds and our understanding of God. It’s an exciting adveture we’re on. I’m looking forward to trying this out in worship and in my sermons and I hope you’ll join me!