Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Why Jesus and Christianity are vital to good science and better technology; or why we need strong faith, not stubborn belief.
Faith isn’t wishing something to happen, it is diving fully into what is happening. While out at a local restaurant, I was startled to see the waitress take my order on a cell phone. Likewise, when my wife is able to take a payment from the parents of one of her students with a credit card swipe on her phone, I realize that my world has changed – profoundly. Is my religion only a remnant of past eras, causing me to sigh with a desire to escape or go back to an imagined time; or is it the vital core and open door of my present world to see and love more deeply now. Christianity is a religion that is based and understood only in the experience of our humanity. It is the story of God joining us, with love, to be incarnate – part of our very flesh and blood. It was in the recurring events of the resurrection, when Jesus came back from the dead and his followers were able to see, touch and eat with Him that the faith was born. Christianity is not about believing things because they were told to us, but because we have come to see, touch and know the love of God in the world in which actually live. The life of Christian faith is one that cannot be understood or lived by ideas of love or forgiveness; but, by the actual experience of being in love, loving, forgiving and being forgiven. Christianity should be the source of the strength which elevates us beyond our preconceived notions, our biased thoughts, and our cultural understandings; and be open to new possibilities of grace and truth. The journey of Jesus Christ began with the herald of John the Baptist, crying out for all to repent, to return to a God who is active now. Repentance is the act of turning, the possibility of thinking differently, the experience of change in our life. For the new technology, for science and advancements in communica-tions to proceed we cannot rely solely upon new gadgets, restless frustration, isolation, and simply a desire to make more money, if we are to truly progress. Like any good journey, we need both our right and left feet to keep us walking great distances. So, too, we not only need new things but also a capacity for growth, in love and a deeper and more engaged presence – with people who are physically present. We need to have more actual engagement with people beside ourself, where we forgive, learn and listen in ways that can change us. We need to eat together, make music, love, walk and look into each other’s eyes. And with such experiences of intimacy we can find the grounding, the footing that makes other innovation possible. And I can share with joy the moment with a waitress who is excited to show me how her phone takes my order, and with such build a stronger community.