Tuesday, August 6, 2013

God in a Box

We get all sorts of things in a box: Office in a Box, Jack in a Box, party in a box, bed in a box (ok it's actually a bag, cake in a box and prayer in a box. Not to mention what is available in jars and on a stick. We like things convenient, transportable and packable.

Apparently so did David; King David established his kingdom, built his house, looked around, thought now what and decided that God needed a house too. The disciples were not immune to the box disease, upon seeing Moses and Elijah having a conversation with Jesus wanted to build a dwelling for each of them.

Please do not think that I believe building a house of God (aka Church building) is wrong, I love our church buildings and that we can openly gather to worship and praise our creator, so many can't and don;t have that luxury. A house of God is much different than a house for God - it puts God in one place and boxes Him in - or tries to, and God is not convenient. Any priest/pastor or lay ministers if they are honest will tell you frankly that God is definitely Not Convenient, any call to ministry is an interruption at the most and unexpected at the least. "If you want to make gos laugh, tell him your plans.", has far more truth to it than you can imagine. Putting God in a box is detrimental to our relationship with Him, he wants to dwell with us and in us. That scares us. We yearn for the Garden of Eden and are afraid of it. Afraid of not being perfect.

Sadly we put others in boxes too, pigeon-holing them into roles they are not meant for or keeping them "where they belong". I grieve for a woman who loved to balance the checkbook, pay the bills and kept track of the finances in her family, she did it for years and was a blessing to them in doing that task. After attending a conference on "Godly Women" where the key speaker insisted that the husband was to be in control of all finances, she forcibly turned over the checkbook to her husband. He hated it. He had trusted her with this task and she kept him apprised of what had was going on so for him there was not an issue. He did not like balancing the checkbook, paying the bills and keeping track of everything. When he died she felt guilty that she had forced him to do something that he had disliked and wearied him on a monthly basis. Giving people the tools and the basics they need to accomplish tasks in case of an emergency is one thing - forcing them to do what they are not called to do is entirely another.

Putting people in roles and boxes to fit our view of how things should be is for our comfort only and serves us, not others and certainly not God.

This week our church will be one of the churches that will have a table, attending PrideFest in our community and the organizer, GayNEPA, received a handwritten letter that focused them on what they are doing;
"Dear Friends of the NEPA Rainbow Fund, Have a healthy & safe PrideFest. May the communities and hearts of our area come together to celebrate the pride of a people being who they were meant to be. Let the outside witness and share in our love for family, friends and life."

God will not be on the outside, kept out by a box of our ideas of where God should be, he will also be inside, with the vendors, with the children, with the organizers, with the entertainment and most definitely with the attendees - celebrating a people being who they are, being With his creations

Putting God "in his place" is for our convenience - praise Him for not listening.

-Debra Kellerman

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